Onyinye Igwe

Women are still routinely being cut out of their parents’ inheritance in parts of south-eastern Nigeria, nanansem can report

After Onyinye Igwe lost her father two years ago, life became financially difficult for her even though he was a relatively wealthy man, leaving behind houses, land and money in the bank.


Her father, like most men in this conservative country who are superstitious about writing a will, died intestate so the duty of sharing out his estate fell to his children

Despite being the first child, Ms Igwe, 29, and her five other sisters received nothing – everything went to the three men in the family as is the custom among the Igbo people.

“They told us [women] that we are going to get married into another person’s home so we don’t have to inherit anything from our father. Because that’s the tradition, we didn’t fight with them,” she told the BBC.

When her father died, her only brother – the last child in the family – inherited the father’s entire estate, including the family house.

“There was a time I was broke because my brother rented some of the rooms and did not give me a share from it,” she said.

Her brother, Oscar Nonso, a musician who now runs a poultry business in the compound he inherited, said he had done nothing wrong and had only followed the tradition of his people.