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Abstract

1. The percentage of households that are headed by widows in rural Zambia increased from 9.4 % to 12.3% between 2001 and 2004. 2. Within 1 to 3 years after the death of their husbands, widow-headed households, on average, controlled 35 percent less land than what they had prior to their husband’s death. 3. To some extent, older widows are protected against loss of land compared to younger widows. 4. Women in relatively wealthy households are particularly vulnerable to losing land after the death of their husbands. 5. Widows whose family has kinship ties to the village authorities are less likely to face a severe decline in landholding size after the death of their husbands. 6. Widows in patrilineal and matrilineal villages are equally likely to lose their rights to land.

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