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1.1       Background of the study

Widowhood has piqued the curiosity of a small number of researchers. However, the recent focus on them has been drawn to the destructive activities directed at them. The situation of widows in Nigerian society's traditional environment has hitherto been overlooked, and social and legal discrimination against Nigerian women had been overlooked. When human rights are violated, it is impossible to accomplish the long-awaited global progress. Discrimination against women's rights has been a long-standing problem that has resisted several attempts to eradicate it, such as toxic widowhood customs. When widows lose their spouses, they are exposed to humiliating humiliation, fetish discrimination, and painful rituals known as harmful widowhood practices. Drinking the water used to bathe their deceased husbands' corpses, compulsory hair shaving, sitting and sleeping on the bare floor throughout the mourning period, crying out at intervals, false imprisonment, sleeping with the corpse of the deceased husband, staying for several days without bathing, the wife being inherited by the husband's brother, and denial of custody of their children are just a few of these practices. It's worth mentioning that these behaviors are more common in rural areas. Unfortunately, rural women are unaware of their rights and are unable to examine the logic of these beliefs and practices, allowing them to knowingly or subconsciously support the perpetuation and, eventually, violation of their economic, social, and cultural rights (Onyegu and Essiet 2002; Lockwood, 2006; Anaeme 2012). Even in the face of civilization and technology in the twenty-first century, this has maintained its influence. Harmful widowhood customs have eluded several attempts by local and international groups to address them. The Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was enacted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, was one attempt to remove discrimination against women on a global scale. The Convention identified areas where women are discriminated against and committed nations to reform their laws, develop gender policies, and establish institutions to implement them. The enactment of the Abuse against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, which safeguards against damaging widowhood practices and other types of violence or maltreatment against persons, is one of the Nigerian government's other tools. Despite these attempts, negative widowhood traditions persist, particularly in rural areas, prompting researchers to propose that programs to prevent these habits be implemented through mass media platforms, particularly radio, which is a popular gadget that rural people can purchase.

The media conveys information on the significance and meaning of events. It is impossible to cover everything that occurs in the news or in the newspapers. As a result, whatever news makes it into the paper or into radio and television newscasts must have been deemed relevant by gatekeepers. The media tries to teach ideals and behavior in the viewers on occasion. Radio is a mass media that uses electromagnetic radio waves to broadcast information, education, and entertainment to listeners via transmitters and antennas. As a result, community radio stations were formed in various African nations in the 1990s in response to community requirements for public information. Community radio refers to radio stations that are owned and operated by members of a particular community in order to promote and safeguard the community's common interests and goals. People at the grassroots can use community radio to express their concerns about problems that matter to them, such as health, gender relations, human rights, security, and infrastructure. As a result, the researcher was enticed to investigate the influence of radio advertising in arguing against hazardous widowhood traditions in Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Widows in Nigeria face a number of challenges. Most communities and customs existed long before Nigeria's independence in 1960 and the country's most recent constitution in 1999, according to Opaluwa, A. D. (2013). Many Nigerians (even the educated) feel that their customs and traditions supersede Nigeria's constitution due to ignorance, desire for dominance, selective amnesia, and wickedness. Widowhood customs that harm women are, at the very least, a denial of their rights. Widows are expected to perform certain rituals after their husbands die, such as shaving their heads, drinking the bath water used to wash their husbands' bodies, mourning her husband's death for three to twelve months, depending on the ethnic group, right of inheritance, widows do not have the right to inherit land or property, widows are not allowed to bathe or clean their surroundings during the mourning period, except in rare cases once a day.

In denouncing this inhumane treatment of widows, the Child Welfare Information Gateway (2013) and Idialu (2012) say that such emotional abuse causes considerable psychological pain that affects widows for the rest of their lives, prompting the need to eliminate these behaviors. Radio has long been regarded as a reliable medium for informing, instructing, and sensitizing the rural populace on a wide range of topics. Its ability to influence behavioral change in a group of people has been demonstrated.

Despite the construction and operation of local radio stations in the South West, as well as their programming, the issue of harmful widowhood customs persists, blaming ignorance. Is it because engaging shows aren't broadcast on the radio, or because people aren't exposed to them? The goal of this study was to see how local radio has influenced people's attitudes toward widows, as well as to suggest ways to make local radio more effective in the battle against harmful widowhood traditions in South West Nigeria.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the impact of radio advertising in advocating against toxic widowhood practices in Nigeria. Specifically the study seeks to:

1. Ascertain the types of harmful widowhood practices enforced in South West region of Nigeria?

2. Investigate what extent do people in South West region  have access to local radio?

3.  Establish if  local radios in South West Nigeria have programmes that focus on the eradication of harmful widowhood practices

4. Determine the extent has local radio programmes influenced the eradication of harmful widowhood practices in South West region Nigeria?

1.4       Research question

The research is guided by the following question:

1.        What are the types of harmful widowhood practices enforced in North Central Nigeria?

2.        To what extent do people in North Central Nigeria have access to local radio? 

3.        Do local radios in South West Nigeria have programmes that focus on the eradication of harmful widowhood practices?

4.        To what extent has local radio programmes influenced the eradication of harmful widowhood practices in South West region Nigeria?

1.5       Significance of the study

Toxic widowhood practices are harmful to widowed women, since they are likely to impact both her emotional and psychological well-being, potentially violating her human rights. The findings of this study are intended to highlight the need for society to abandon detrimental habits and traditions while still promoting gender equality and female dignity. Antropologists, sociologists, policymakers, community stakeholders, and academics will all benefit from the study's findings. The study identifies a missing connection between the variables under investigation and aids in raising awareness of negative traditional behaviors related to widowhood and property inheritance among the government, policymakers, and notably women. Finally, the study will add to the current body of knowledge and act as a resource for researchers and students interested in conducting additional research in a similar topic.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the impact of radio advertising in advocating against toxic widowhood practices in Nigeria. It will ascertain the types of harmful widowhood practices enforced in South West region Nigeria and establish if  local radios in South West Nigeria have programmes that focus on the eradication of harmful widowhood practices.

1.7       Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint all these constraint were downplayed to give the best.

1.8       Definition of terms

Rituals: This refers to a set of actions such as widowhood practices, often thought to have symbolic value, the performance of which is usually prescribed by religion or by the traditions of a community because of the perceived efficacy of those actions. Widows: This refers to married women regardless of socio-economic status (young or old, literate or non-literate, low or high income earner, etc) whose husbands have died and have not remarried. Sometimes women who had children for a man outside wedlock are called widows too.

Widowers: Widowers are men who have at one time or the other lost their wife or wives and who might have remarried. The existence of partial widowers in most African societies and especially among the study population necessitates this definition.

Widowhood: Widowhood refers to a state or condition of being a widow/widower. It is a state of loss of a marital partner (either a wife, or husband as the case may be). Widowhood Practices: These are traditional and cultural dictates observed by a widow/widower during the mourning period. They include all actions or activities carried out by the widow or against the widow by the relatives or non-relatives of the deceased in fulfilment of rites during the mourning period.

Radio: Radio is an audio device for passing messages to a large audience. Radio involves the process by which messages are sent through electrical waves. In other words, the sound could be sent and received through these waves.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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  • Methodology: yes available

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