James Elangwe, 87, belongs to the Balues, the only clan in which inheritance passes through the female line. 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. Elangwe's wife belongs to a tribe where inheritance passes from father to son in a patrilineal system. Women cannot inherit, but he says at least it stays within the immediate family if there is a son.
Jun 11, 2012