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Abstract

The 16 days which South Africa dedicates to the fight against the abuse of women and children every December is a reminder of the effects of gender inequalities in this country. Even though this suspicion is inferred to other family members like parents, brothers or other relatives, this study confines itself to the suspicion towards wives when their husbands have died. This has resulted in widows being targeted in many African communities. Harmful traditional practices are part of the plights that widows are compelled to undergo if ‘suspected’ to prove their innocence. It is therefore the intention of this article to investigate and discuss by way of research, the causes, impact and outcomes of this kind of suspicion towards women. It is argued that gender activists in general are objectively engaged with the battle of equality between the genders and that both men and women should thus be guided towards achieving harmony in the country. This article will investigate whether the tradition of suspecting women of killing their husbands is warranted and will also make suggestions on what can be done to deal with such beliefs.

Note on the Author

Magezi Elijah Baloyi is the Professor and the Acting Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology. He teaches pastoral care and counselling at the University of South Africa. His research interest includes Liberation theology, Africanization of theology, church injustices within Reformed church, African marriages and premarital counselling and reconciliation in South African context. He published numerous articles on gender based violence and widowhood in African context.

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