津巴布韦的遗产 遗孀为何被驱逐?

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2017-03-15 我要评论( )

Middle east and Afica: Inheritance in Zimbabwe: Why widows get evicted?
中东和非洲:津巴布韦的遗产:遗孀为何被驱逐?

The scourge of in-laws robbing the bereaved
姻亲剥夺遗孀(财产)的根源

Activist, firebrand and feminist are just a few of the terms used to describe Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a former opposition MP and cabinet minister in Zimbabwe.
“活动家”、“煽动者”、“女权主义者”这些词只是津巴布韦共和国前反对党成员兼内阁大臣Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga的一些头衔。

No one would call her a pushover.
没有人认为她是一个好说话的人。

Yet despite her connections and some of the country’s finest lawyers arguing her case, after her husband’s death she was forced empty-handed out of her matrimonial home of 13 years.
尽管她有着人脉还有国内最好的律师帮她打官司,在她的丈夫去世之后,她还是被迫两手空空地离开了她在13年婚姻生活中一直居住的家。

Before Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga was widowed she and her late husband owned three houses, including one in the leafy suburb of Mt Pleasant in the north of Harare.
在Misihairabwi-Mushonga丈夫去世之前,她和她的丈夫拥有三座房产,其中一处在哈拉雷北部绿树成荫的芒特普莱森特郊区。

They shared bank accounts and owned several cars.
他们共享银行账户以及几辆汽车。

Some of this was left to her in a will.
在她丈夫的遗嘱中,她也享有一部分的财产。

Yet after her husband’s death Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga lost almost everything, even her clothes, to her late husband’s brother, various other in-laws and his children from an earlier marriage.
然而,在丈夫去世后,她几乎所有的东西,甚至她的衣服,都被她丈夫的兄弟,其他各种姻亲以及前段婚姻的子女所瓜分。

“I am a typical example of a person who had access to information, a minister, but yet I woke up with nothing,” she says.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga说:“我是一个典型的例子,作为内阁大臣我可以获得很多信息,但是我醒来时什么都没有了。”

Her destitution illustrates a wider problem.
她的贫困反映了一个更深层次的问题。

It is not only the government that grabs other people’s stuff in Zimbabwe, in-laws do it, too.
在津巴布韦,不仅政府会强占私人财产,姻亲也会。

Tens of thousands of widows are stripped of their property after the death of their husbands.
数以万计的寡妇在她们的丈夫去世之后变得一贫如洗。

A report released this week by Human Rights Watch (HRW) , an outfit based in New York, documents numerous cases of Zimbabwean widows losing their homes, the land that they had tended for years and even the fruit growing on their trees.
本周,人权观察(总部设在美国纽约)发表的一项报告记录了数不胜数的案例,在这些案例中津巴布韦的寡妇失去了她们的家,她们数年来辛勤耕作的土地,甚至是果树上的果实也被剥夺。

Such abuses are common in many countries, HRW says.
人权观察组织说,这种情况在很多国家都很常见。

The Loomba Foundation, another NGO, estimates that 38m widows are extremely poor.
另一个非政府组织---鲁巴基金会估计大约有三千八百万寡妇处于极度贫穷状态。

In Zimbabwe the problem is acute because of short lifespans and the tendency of men to marry much younger women, particularly if they are rich.
这种情况之所以在津巴布韦很突出是因为这里的人均寿命短,并且男人,尤其是富裕的男人,更愿意娶比自己年龄小得多的女人。

So the country has an alarming number of widows: more than half of women older than 60 have buried at least one husband.
所以这个国家的寡妇数量格外多,60岁以上的女性人口中,一半以上都埋葬过至少一任丈夫。

The dispossession of old women continues despite laws that, on paper, protect them from predatory in-laws.
尽管有法律明文保护年长女人免遭姻亲剥夺财产,但是姻亲对她们的财产的剥夺从未停止过。

This is thanks to two quirks in Zimbabwe’s legal system.
而这是因为津巴布韦法律体系中的两个奇特之处。

The first is a hangover from a tradition of “wife inheritance” or “kugara nhaka” whereby, in some parts of Zimbabwe, a widow (and thus all her property) is inherited by her husband’s brother.
第一处便是传统习俗中遗留下来的“妻子继承制”或“kugara nhaka”,在津巴布韦的某些地方,一位寡妇(包含她的全部财产)都由丈夫的弟弟继承。

(This custom helped HIV spread like wildfire. )
(这一习俗导致了艾滋病的广泛传播。)

Although wives are no longer handed over these days, their homes and property still are.
尽管现在,寡妇不再被“继承”,但她们的房子和财产还是会被“继承”。

This is because the laws restraining in-laws only apply to women who can prove that they were married.
这是因为法律只对那些能证明自己的婚姻情况的妇女生效从而限制姻亲。

But as many as 80% of marriages in the countryside are “customary” and not registered in writing anywhere, so widows going to court to enforce their rights end up having to ask their in-laws to confirm that they were indeed married.
但是在津巴布韦乡村,80%的婚姻是“约定俗成”的,并没有任何的书面文件证明,所以,寡妇们想要通过法院阻止姻亲之间的财产掠夺行为,必须由姻亲承认他们的婚姻关系。

Given the loot at stake, many refuse to testify honestly.
鉴于之间的利害关系,许多人做假证,否认事实。

“Widows are forced to rely on the husband’s family, who stand to gain if they deny that the marriage took place,” says Bethany Brown of HRW.
人权观察组织的达尼·布朗说:“寡妇被迫要依靠过世丈夫家人的证明,如果这些人作伪证,他们就能够获得财产”。

Many widows can’t get their property back without a lawyer, and can’t afford a lawyer until they get their property back.
很多寡妇需要律师的帮助才能得到她们的财产,而她们在赢回她们的财产前却请不起律师。

That they are often old and weak makes them even easier to push around.
她们通常年老体弱,更容易受人摆布。

Solving the problem is not a question of passing new legislation but of extending the rule of written laws.
要解决问题不是出台新的法律条款,而是增加现有成文法律的条款。

Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga predicts that widows will continue to be dispossessed so long as traditional views on marriage hold sway.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga认为,只要传统的婚姻规则还存在,寡妇的现状就不会有改变。

译文来源考研英语时事阅读


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