Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Marie Tedesco

Committee Members

Jill Leroy Frazier, Phyllis Thompson


Widows in Nigeria endure adverse and traumatic practices that affect their health, well-being, and rights as women. After decades of struggle and resistance against persistent widowhood practices, this study sought to portray in Nigerian widows, hidden strengths, resilience, and agency rather than their vulnerability and powerlessness. Analysis of secondary scholarship, interviews, and survey questionnaires reveal that some Nigerian widows are able to cope even as they navigate through the challenges and trauma of demeaning and stressful practices. The results also demonstrate that the ability to cope and thrive under stress and adversity links not only to an individual’s personal growth and well-being, but also to their ability to develop agency and empower themselves. This study has implications for female empowerment and sociocultural change. Additionally, the results suggest a need for future research and interventions that further develop the concept of resilience in Nigerian widows.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.