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Matrilineal Benefits Skip Women
But this doesn't mean that women inherit. Instead, it means that when a man dies, the first son of the man's sister inherits.
Elangwe says matrilineal inheritance puts women at a greater disadvantage than patrilineal inheritance because wealth leaves the immediate family.
Roger Ottang, a barrister working with Fraternity Chambers, a law firm, says matrilineality should be abolished. He says that the father, mother and children are all contributors to the development of a nuclear family. As such, property of a family belongs to the family as a unit, not to extended family members.
Though customary law exists, there is no justification for bad cultures, Ottang adds. All cultural practices should pass the legal test for them to be considered good customs.
He says matrilineality backs women, especially widows, into a tight corner. By law, extended family members do not have the right to take property from a family, even in cases in which the deceased did not leave a will. Even in the absence of a will, the law requires property to go first to the wife and then the children. Family members follow later.
He says that some men and women bring matrilineal inheritance cases to court, but it is rare. He encourages more families to do so.
Read the full report at http://womensenews.org/story/the-world/120607/matrilineal-custom-puts-cameroonia...
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