The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of
women in the world.

Latest items for IW-LAW-1

March 20, 2018, 1:29 p.m.
Countries: Gambia
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"While noting the delegation’s statement that the State party will consider good practices in other countries with Muslim populations that have non-discriminatory personal status laws that are in line with the Convention, the Committee remains deeply concerned: (a) That issues relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, marital property, adoption, burial and devolution of property on death are still regulated under personal laws (sharia and customary law), which contains provisions that discriminate against women; (b) That the Women’s Act provides only for women’s “equitable” access to property, which is not compliant with the Committee’s standard of equality. While commending the State party in the case of Matty Faye v. Dawda Jawara, the...more
March 14, 2018, 6:54 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"The Committee welcomes the adoption of Law No. 99-05 of 29 January 1999 criminalizing female genital mutilation and of a second national action plan to accelerate the elimination female genital mutilation (2010-2015), as well as the measures taken to raise public awareness of harmful practices. It is concerned, however, at the persistence of adverse cultural norms, practices and traditions as well as patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles, responsibilities and identities of women and men in the family and society. It notes that stereotypes contribute to the persistence of violence against women as well as harmful practices, including female genital mutilation, levirate and sororate, child marriage, polygamy, repudiation,...more
Feb. 28, 2018, 5:36 p.m.
Countries: Kenya
Variables: IW-LAW-1, DV-LAW-1

"Protection against Domestic Violence Bill (2013). This Bill has already undergone second reading in parliament and if enacted into law, the Protection against Domestic Violence as legislation will protect families from domestic violence. The legislation seeks to protect victims of domestic violence and provide protection for spouses and any children or dependants within the family unit. The Bill recognizes sexual violence within marriage, child marriage, FGM, incest, defilement, forced wife inheritance, interference from in-laws and sexual abuse as forms of domestic violence unlike previously when they were only associated with physical violence" (15-16).
May 15, 2016, 7:55 p.m.
Countries: Montenegro
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"The Constitution of Montenegro guarantees the right to property and inheritance, as well as entrepreneurship. All freedoms and rights are based on the principle of equality between men and women." (78)
March 17, 2016, 8:57 p.m.
Countries: Cyprus
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1, IW-LAW-1

"Are there customary practices or laws among some minority communities (e.g. clans, immigrant groups) that require the inheritance of a wife after a male family member dies? Are there practices whereby a widow is 'cleansed' after her husband's death, and what are these? Unable to offer such information with certainty/accuracy" (2)
Jan. 6, 2016, 10:42 p.m.
Countries: Benin
Variables: WR-LAW-1, IW-LAW-1

"Act No. 2002-07 of 24 August 2004 on the Personal and Family Code lays down egalitarian principles in accordance with the Constitution and thus significantly combats discrimination. For example, it abolishes marriage by levirate (art. 122)" (5). Marriage by levirate refers to the type of marriage in which the brother of the deceased man is obliged to marry his brother's widow and the widow is required to marry her deceased husband's brother (HLH-CODER COMMENT)
Jan. 5, 2016, 11:30 a.m.
Countries: India
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Even the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which was extensively amended in 2005 still contains certain provisions which favour the husband’s family. For example, Section 15 stipulates that the self acquired property of a female Hindu dying intestate will, in the absence of her husband and children, devolve upon the heirs of her husband and not her father and mother" (6).
Nov. 14, 2015, 5:05 p.m.
Countries: Greece

"The Committee is concerned about the situation of women in the State party in the area of marriage and inheritance. The Committee remains concerned about the inconsistent application of the State law in all communities. In this regard, the Committee is concerned about the non-application of the general law of the State party to the Muslim community of Thrace regarding marriage and inheritance, as well as about the persistence of polygamy and early marriage in the Muslim and Roma communities. The Committee is also concerned at the absence of legal provisions governing existing de facto unions, which may deny women protection and redress in case of separation in the absence...more
Nov. 1, 2015, 7:38 p.m.
Countries: Moldova
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"The Committee is also concerned about information received that, following divorce or death of the husband, women are, in practice, often denied their right of inheritance" (11)
Sept. 7, 2015, 11:57 p.m.
Countries: Kazakhstan
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Domestic legislation does not provide for liability for levirate marriage, but liability may be incurred in the context of a number of other offences under the Criminal Code, including article 107 (Torture), article 112 (Threat), article 120 (Rape), article 121 (Violent acts of a sexual nature), article 123 (Coercion to perform sexual intercourse, sodomy, a lesbian act or other acts of a sexual nature), article 125 (Kidnapping), article 126 (Illegal confinement) and article 130 (Abuse)" (55)
Aug. 19, 2015, 1:54 p.m.
Countries: Qatar
Variables: IW-LAW-1, IAW-LAW-1, IAD-LAW-1

“The subject of inheritance under the sharia is one of the areas where the greatest misunderstandings occur, owing to a superficial interpretation of Islamic law that suggests that the sharia discriminates against women by giving them half the inheritance that a man receives. The truth is that women receive half of what a man receives only in given circumstances that are specified in the sharia. In other circumstances, they receive an equal share. For example, both parents each receive one sixth of an offspring’s estate, without any discrimination between the father and the mother. In other cases, the woman receives more than the man. For example, if a person dies...more
Aug. 17, 2015, 7:05 p.m.
Countries: D R Congo
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"The Committee urges the State party:…2) Adopt legal provisions prohibiting polygamy, early marriages, female genital mutilation and levirate, include adequate sanctions for violations of these provisions and ensure their implementation" (6-7). If the Committee urges the State party to prohibit levirate, in which brothers may are obliged to marry their brother's widow, then it must not be illegal (RP-CODER COMMENT)
Oct. 8, 2014, 12:38 p.m.
Countries: Morocco
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Strict application of Muslim law grants to a woman only half of what a man inherits in case of the death of one of the parents. In a case of death of the husband, the wife has only one-eighth of the inheritance 'while women work even more than the men,' Samir El Harrouf, a member of the United Socialist Party (PSU), tells IPS" (para 16)
June 28, 2014, 3:34 p.m.
Countries: Bangladesh
Variables: IW-LAW-1

“Muslim widows regularly inherit land in accordance with law. Hindu widows sometimes inherit land, but not as frequently as Muslims. Generally, when either a Muslim or Hindu widow inherits land she does not cultivate the land herself, but depends on male relatives, usually a son, to oversee the land for her. A son who cares for his mother will often inherit his mother’s share of the family land when she dies. We encountered, however, many cases of widows not receiving their lawful share of land. Sometimes this occurs because their sons refuse to change the registration records (keeping the land in the name of the deceased father) effectively denying a...more
June 24, 2014, 11:38 a.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Passed by presidential decree in 2009, the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law has criminalized 'customs, traditions and practices causing violence against women and which are against Islamic Sharia'. The 22 listed offences include forced and underage marriage, denial of inheritance and rape, the latter a crime for the first time under Afghan law" (10)
March 3, 2013, 2:16 p.m.
Countries: Malawi
Variables: IW-LAW-1

“In a few isolated areas, widows were sometimes forced to have sex with in-laws as part of a culturally mandated “sexual cleansing” ritual following the death of the husband. In some cases, widows were “inherited” by a brother-in-law or other male relative. Although there are no laws specifically prohibiting these practices, the government and civil society continued efforts to abolish them by raising awareness concerning the inherent dangers of such behavior, including the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission” (18-19)
Feb. 26, 2013, 11:12 a.m.
Countries: Pakistan
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"The inheritance law also clearly discriminates against women; however, the 2008 Anti-Women Practices Act, passed in December, made it illegal to deny women’s inheritance of property by deceitful means. Female children are entitled to one-half the inheritance of male children. Wives inherit one-eighth of their husband’s estate. In practice women often received far less than their legal entitlement" (Section 6).
Sept. 10, 2012, 2:24 p.m.
Countries: Uganda
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1, IW-LAW-1

"The law invests women with the same legal status and rights as men. However, discrimination against women continued to be widespread, especially in rural areas. Many customary laws discriminate against women in adoption, marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Under local customary law in many areas, women cannot own or inherit property or retain custody of their children" (Section 6). "Polygamy is legal under both customary and Islamic law, and in some ethnic groups men can “inherit” the widows of their deceased brothers" (Section 6).
Aug. 15, 2012, 6:45 p.m.
Countries: Yemen
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1, IW-LAW-1

"Women do not enjoy the same legal status as men under family law, property law, inheritance law, and in the judicial system. They experienced discrimination in such areas as employment, credit, pay, owning or managing businesses, education, and housing. This discrimination was accentuated by the 65 percent female illiteracy rate. Women faced discrimination under family law and inheritance law. Courts awarded custody of children to the divorced husband or the deceased husband’s family when they attained a specified age (seven years for boys and nine years for girls). In numerous cases former husbands prevented divorced noncitizen women from visiting their children. Under Sharia inheritance laws, which assumes women will receive...more
July 6, 2012, 1:12 p.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"As stated above (under section on baad) prior to the advent of Islam, women were treated as property and could effectively be “inherited.” The Holy Koran eliminated this harmful tradition by prohibiting forcible marriage through the requirement for consent, and stated that it is unlawful to “forcibly inherit a woman.” (Al-Nisa, Holy Koran)" (43)
March 10, 2012, 7:38 p.m.
Countries: Cote D'Ivoire
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"While welcoming the enactment of Act No. 98-756 of 23 December 1998, which makes early and forced marriages punishable offences, and noting that a Personal and Family Code and a draft law to review the Criminal Code are under preparation, the Committee remains concerned about the prevalence of customary and/or religious polygamous marriages; the lack of enforcement of Act No. 98-756 of 23 December 1998, prohibiting early and forced marriages; the absence of legal provisions prohibiting levirate, sororate and discriminatory inheritance rights; the existence of discriminatory provisions on the age of marriage for women and men; the granting of all decision-making power to men within the family (Act No. 83-800...more
March 10, 2012, 6:54 p.m.
Countries: Cote D'Ivoire
Variables: IW-LAW-1

" By attributing parental authority exclusively to the male, the Marriage Act violates the principle of equality proclaimed in the Constitution and the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It concentrates all decision-making powers in the man’s hands, reducing the woman to the role of executant. There is no law that either condemns or represses the stereotypes developed in society which govern relations between men and women. Similarly, there is no law that condemns certain customs attached to widowhood, such as the levirate and sororate" (37)
Feb. 27, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
Countries: Kenya
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Courts in Kenya have directly applied CEDAW provisions to rule against forced widow inheritance. For instance in the case of Ngoka v. Madzomba the High Court directly applied CEDAW provisions at a time when there was (and still is) no specific national legislation against widow inheritance to rule that a traditional custom that would force a woman to be inherited against her will would be repugnant to justice and morality and in breach of human rights. The judge went further to state that women, in whatever community, are no longer commercial objects and it is time customary diehards woke up to that reality" (24)
Oct. 19, 2011, 3:20 p.m.
Countries: United States
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1, IW-LAW-1

"As recently as 1993, for example, a California court refused to enforce an agreement made between a married couple after the husband suffered a stroke. Although he had been advised by his doctors to enter a nursing home, his wife had consented to nurse him at home in return for inheriting certain properties. She provided the care, but he dies without keeping his promise. The judge declared that he would abide by the “long standing rule that a spouse is not entitled to compensation for support.” “Even if few things are left that cannot command a price, marital support remains one of them,” this judge opined, in a ruling that...more
Feb. 24, 2011, 8:02 a.m.
Countries: Equatorial Guinea
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"More information was asked in connection with the laws governing marriage and divorce, the administration of property, the sharing of parental responsibilities, the situation of de facto union, children born out of wedlock and the disposal of property in case of the dissolution of marriage. More information was requested in connection with the social status of divorced women and widows, and their children" (3)
Feb. 1, 2011, 10:14 p.m.
Countries: Mali
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"There is no code of inheritance or guidance in this area in other codes. Inheritance practices are the habits and customs of those in power and religious affiliation has an impact. For the animist ethnic groups (9%) the woman is still often seen as part of the estate and therefore, instead of inheriting from her husband, she becomes an element of heritage. If the husband dies, the practice of wife inheritance is common. For Muslim ethnic groups-90% of the population-the share of the estate of the woman is inferior to that of the man. Several verses of the fourth Sura of the Koran settle estates. Sura 4, verse 11: '
Dec. 3, 2010, 3:58 p.m.
Countries: Zambia
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Traditionally, every male head of a household is entitled to land for his homestead, cultivation and grazing, although there are exceptions. When a man dies, his male children inherit his land. Women, regardless of their marital status or age, can never acquire land or landed property on their own. They have to reside with their parents, husbands or sons." (Section: Customary Law) "Intestate/Succession Act of 1989, amended in 1996:_- Gives spouses and children rights of inheritance and supersedes customary law; however, it is not widely known, partly because relatives of the deceased chose to ignore the law. Prior to the adoption of the Act, various customary laws governed inheritance of...more
Dec. 2, 2010, 4:42 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: IW-LAW-1

Women, rarely becoming head of the family farm except in the case of widowhood, are excluded from the transfer of land...In town, women's situation is different. They participate in the inheritance of property. Pursuant to the Family Code, they receive their share of land inheritance left by the father, whether it is a vacant lot, built, or upgraded. Most often, this is land with a title. In town, the family code identifies the land rights of women. In rural areas, it is custom which is decisive. Women are under the authority of their fathers when they are young and then their husbands. Widows are expected to marry the deceased husband's...more
Nov. 4, 2010, 6:17 p.m.
Countries: Burkina Faso
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Widowhood profoundly changes the status of women in Burkina Faso and undermines their security. Customary laws deny women and widows the right to inherit land and assets. Widows can be inherited by their deceased husband's brother and must abide by these laws or risk being ostracised and left without income and assets at a time of trauma and bereavement" (4)
Nov. 4, 2010, 5:23 p.m.
Countries: Zimbabwe
Variables: IW-LAW-1

"Many who remain on the land do so at the pleasure of their in-laws or traditional leaders. Childless widows are often evicted, as are young widows who refuse to be physically 'inherited' by a male relative of their late husband, often a brother" (Section: Customary Law)