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

Latest items for IW-PRACTICE-1

March 28, 2017, 1:47 p.m.
Countries: Guinea-Bissau

"Widows are required to marry the brothers of their late husbands so that they can remain in the same household group and ensure that their chil-dren are being provided for" (526).
March 14, 2017, 9:58 a.m.
Countries: Malawi

"Why would people pay a man to have sex with young girls and women? According to Stewart, the practice is viewed as a way to ritually cleanse girls after their first period, usually within a three-day window. Some families tell girls they will get infections if they don't have sex with a 'hyena', says Stewart. But it also happens in other life stages too - after an abortion or when a woman becomes a widow" (para 6-8).
Feb. 23, 2017, 9:45 a.m.
Countries: Equatorial Guinea
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Although not widespread, levirate marriage, the practice by which a man may be required to marry his brother’s widow, resulted in discrimination against women and girls" (22).
Feb. 9, 2017, 3:40 p.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"In Sierra Leone, women were encouraged [after their husbands' deaths] to wash stones instead of corpses during the Ebola outbreak to avoid spreading the virus" (para 28).
Feb. 9, 2017, 3:40 p.m.
Countries: Zimbabwe
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Rather than having sex with a relative of her late husband, many widows in Zimbabwe offer a bowl of water if they want to stay with the family" (para 27).
Feb. 9, 2017, 3:38 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon

"When Clarisse's husband died of malaria last year in the Cameroonian city of Douala, she was kicked out of their home by his family and forced to marry his brother" (para 1).
Feb. 8, 2017, 2:41 p.m.
Countries: Cote D'Ivoire
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Societal violence against women included traditional practices, such as dowry deaths (the killing of brides over dowry disputes), levirate (forcing a widow to marry her dead husband’s brother), and sororate (forcing a woman to marry her dead sister’s husband)" (21).
Feb. 1, 2017, 5:29 p.m.
Countries: Malawi

"Aniva is by all accounts the pre-eminent 'hyena' in this village. It's a traditional title given to a man hired by communities in several remote parts of southern Malawi to provide what's called sexual 'cleansing'. If a man dies, for example, his wife is required by tradition to sleep with Aniva before she can bury him. If a woman has an abortion, again sexual cleansing is required" (para 3). "In Malawi's central Dedza district, hyenas are only ever used to initiate widows or infertile women" (para 22).
Jan. 18, 2017, 9:54 a.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Widows were also sometimes forcibly married to one of the deceased husband’s relatives" (31).
Dec. 29, 2016, 12:13 p.m.
Countries: Burkina Faso

"Many citizens, particularly in rural areas, held to traditional beliefs that did not recognize inheritance rights for women and regarded a woman as property that could be inherited upon her husband’s death" (20).
Nov. 30, 2016, 8:42 p.m.
Countries: Mali
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Mali regards the following 16 practices as harmful to the health of women and children...Levirate and sororate marriages" (35).
Nov. 22, 2016, 12:37 p.m.
Countries: Benin

"Forced marriage and widowhood rites such as forcing the widow to lie beside the dead body of the deceased and to marry the deceased husband’s brother (levirate) occurred in certain regions" (16).
Aug. 21, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"'Here, when a woman is widowed, she has to marry her husband’s brother and I refused,' she said" (Para 36)
May 15, 2016, 7:55 p.m.
Countries: Montenegro

"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. Pursuant to legislation, rural women enjoy the right to property and inheritance on equal terms with men. However, some rural areas still retain the traditional approach, so that in the inheritance procedure women mainly relinquish their share of property to the benefit of their male relatives. According to the survey “Gender Barometer” rural women are either owners or co-owners of the house or flat — 38% in aggregate, but they are less frequently owners or co-owners of the holding — ...more
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)
March 8, 2016, 10:49 a.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

""The queens have a great role to play in the fondom," notes Prince Nickson, also of Bafut, noting that it is up to these women behind the man to shape him in his kingly role. "Behind every successful man must be a very successful, staunch woman," says Abumbi's third wife, Queen Constance."Our tradition has it that when you are king, the elderly wives remain to hand down the tradition to the younger wives, and also to teach the king the tradition because the king had been a prince, not a king." " (1)
Feb. 29, 2016, 9:23 a.m.
Countries: Ukraine
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

""There are no such practices in Ukraine." Anna Cheburei" (13)
Feb. 27, 2016, 1:44 p.m.
Countries: Uganda

"Furthermore, polygamy is authorised under customary and Islamic laws and women in polygamous relationships have no protection in the event of dissolution of the union. In some ethnic groups, custom also provides for men to 'inherit' the widows of their deceased brothers (levirat), which is not prohibited by law" (4)
Feb. 27, 2016, 10:53 a.m.
Countries: Zambia

"Levirate marriage, (taking the widow of a dead brother or uncle as a wife) is also practiced among the Chewa people of Zambia, in order to provide the widow with security, care for her children, the means to have children if she has none and to provide an inheritance in the family. This will definitely lead to polygamy because in most cases, those who take the widow of a dead brother or uncle are already married" (5)
Feb. 27, 2016, 10:31 a.m.
Countries: Zimbabwe

"In Zimbabwe, there are places where a polygamous lifestyle is practiced. According to Khumalo-Sakutukwa (2003), almost 14 percent of married Zimbabwean women report being in polygamous unions. This situation is clarified by Rodriquez (2007) who observes that Zimbabwean women comply with polygamy in order to conform to culture and for fear of social discrimination. In Gutu, when a man dies, his wife traditionally becomes the possession of his brothers, along with his cattle, house and land. The wife is ‘forced’ to choose a husband among the brothers of the late husband, even if all the brothers are already married. Elaborate ceremonies involve the woman putting a bowl of water in ...more
Feb. 18, 2016, 4:31 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The practice of levirate marriage exists in certain communities or ethnic groups, but it does not derive from the legislation in force in Senegal" (70)
Feb. 7, 2016, 12:26 p.m.
Countries: Gabon

"While little information exists on the status of women’s land and property rights in Gabon, the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) of the OECD Development Centre provides that Gabon’s inheritance laws are discriminatory towards widows. It is reported that in most cases, widows cannot inherit property from their husbands without written authorisation of the family of the deceased. Moreover, they are deprived of their right to live and work on the land or property if they remarry into a family other than that of their deceased spouse. Therefore, widows are obliged to marry within their deceased husband’s family if they wish to receive any benefits from their deceased husbands. ...more
Jan. 20, 2016, 8:29 a.m.
Countries: Guinea-Bissau

"Traditions and customary laws also greatly influence family structures. In some ethnic groups customary laws do not allow women from inheriting property, which is rather passed on to a male heir. Similarly, some groups practice widow inheritance, forcing the widowed women to marry a male relative of the deceased husband" (12).
Jan. 6, 2016, 10:42 p.m.
Countries: Benin
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"Under traditional law, a wife is considered to be the property of her husband. Thus, as an integral part of an estate, a widow is compelled to marry a relative of her husband on his death. In the event that a husband survives his wife, he may marry the late wife’s sister for the sake of family solidarity. This is known as sororate. These forms of union are observed especially in regions where dowries before marriage are required" (6). "The widowhood ceremonies that women are subjected to when their husbands die constitute very telling examples of abuse. While a widower receives particular attention from another woman who must drive away ...more
Dec. 21, 2015, 10:49 a.m.
Countries: Israel
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The group should address specific problems instead, she argues. How can it be, for example, that the wife of a killed Palestinian is forced to marry his brother?" (para 16)
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. 3, 2015, 1:07 a.m.
Countries: Vietnam

"However, in mountainous and remote areas, due to difficult travelling conditions, many are unable to register marriages pursuant to the law. On the other hand, in these areas, many backward customs and practices have not been entirely eliminated such as: child marriage, levirate marriage custom of some ethnic minorities (unmarried younger brother or whose wife is dead will marry the elder brother’s wife in case the elder brother dies (Brau ethnic), junior sororate marriage whereby elder brother-in-laws may marry his wife’s younger sister in case his wife dies (Ro Mam ethnic), etc" (65)
Aug. 18, 2015, 10:52 a.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The wrong interpretations from Sharia and imposing it on women in most parts of the country has resulted in polygamy without considering the legal requirements, force marriage of under-age girls and force marriage of widows with the family members of their deceased husband" (21). "Furthermore, widow women are mostly exposed to violence because of the unacceptable customs and traditions. In some areas, women do not have the right to choose their husband and must stay at the house of their deceased husband. Unfortunately, in many regions, widow women are deemed as inheritance and are forced to marry one of her deceased husband’s relatives" (96)
Aug. 18, 2015, 10:46 a.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"It [the Committee]is deeply concerned at the persistence of adverse cultural norms, practices and traditions which are harmful to women such as child marriage, baad (settlement of disputes by giving away girls), badal (exchange marriages), and forced marriages, including forced marriages of widows" (6)
Aug. 17, 2015, 7:05 p.m.
Countries: D R Congo
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The Committee is also concerned about the persistence of the practices of...levirate" (13)