Further, the survey found, 22% of the children of widows were affected by inheritance issues, with female children being twice as likely to be affected as male children.
Widows are also discriminated against as a result of the practice of ‘widow inheritance’ – this is being claimed by their deceased spouses’ relatives.
Judicial interpretation grants law making powers to judges - a derogation from parliamentary supremacy. It is not useful when deliberately broad terms are used . It is used because judges are afraid of losing their perceived independence by making necessarily political purposive constructions on Acts.
In addition, the question of what is absurd or immoral and therefore allowing the plain words of a statute to be ignored is by necessity a subjective one, and so the interpretation will vary with the judge's background, upbringing, education, and beliefs; which will inevitably differ greatly from the mean at least some of the time.
The practice began to be questioned in the 20th century, with the age of individuals' first marriage increasing in many countries and most countries increasing the minimum marriage age.
In ancient and medieval societies, it was common for girls to be betrothed at or even before puberty.
The result clearly is that use of any construction other than the literal binds the entire population by one man's moral judgement.
A government that only had to carry out a limited number of functions could do so through the institutions and procedures established by the Constitution.
The legally prescribed marriageable age in some jurisdictions is below 18 years, especially in the case of girls; and even when the age is set at 18 years, many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in special circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy.
In certain countries, even when the legal marriage age is 18, cultural traditions take priority over legislative law.
However, in the case of separation after a customary marriage, the children typically stay with their father. According to the current law, widows have the right to inherit 20% of their husbands’ property, 50% of the estate goes to the children of the deceased (irrespective of gender), 20% to the parents of the deceased, and 10% to other dependents.
A 2006 survey by the Central Statistical Office of Zambia found that three out of four victims of property grabbing did not take any action to change their circumstances.
Extrinsic aids to interpretation consist of everything not found within the statute, whereas intrinsic aids are those found within the statute being interpreted.