African tradition may fuel AIDS

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In Kenya, the custom of wife inheritance means that when a man dies, his widow is passed on as part of his estate. And if he died of AIDS, she may not be all that’s passed on.

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The traditional practice has been condemned by some as a major factor in the escalation of the AIDS epidemic in parts of Kenya, but attempts to ban it face strong resistance. Some of that resistance has come from religious leaders, who say the custom is essential to provide for widows. “It is not only for (sexual) intercourse that wives are inherited … they are inherited so that their economic needs are taken care of,” one clergyman told the PANAFRICAN NEWS AGENCY.

Another cleric argues that arresting wife inheritors, as provincial officials have proposed, could have terrible consequences for women by driving widows into prostitution to provide for themselves.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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