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

Latest items for IW-PRACTICE-1

June 28, 2018, 4:51 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The high prevalence of harmful practices, including . . . 'widow cleansing', widow inheritance . . . " (page 5).
May 29, 2018, 3:28 p.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

This article indicates that widows in Afghanistan are typically married to their dead husband's brothers. The woman in this story, Khadijah, was married to three of the brothers in the same family. After her first husband died, she married the next youngest brother, and after he died, she married the next brother. "Their Pashtun society considers it the duty of brothers to marry their brothers' widows--and leaves those widows with little choice but to obey, or lose their children and their homes."
March 21, 2018, 5:20 p.m.
Countries: Namibia

"The Committee is concerned at the persistence of harmful practices, as well as discriminatory stereotypes and deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society. The Committee is particularly concerned at the lack of data on the extent of harmful practices such as widow inheritance, sexual initiation practices and polygamy. The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/NAM/CO/3, paras. 16 and 17) and notes that the State party has not yet conducted a study on the extent of and prevalence of traditional harmful practices and on the impact of the implementation of the Traditional Authorities Act (No. 25 of 2000) and...more
March 20, 2018, 1:29 p.m.
Countries: Gambia

"The Committee is deeply concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society. It also remains concerned about the very high prevalence of harmful practices, in particular female genital mutilation, child marriage, polygamy and levirate, and the fact that they are not prohibited by law. The Committee urges the State party: (a) To adopt legal provisions explicitly prohibiting harmful practices, such as polygamy, child marriage, female genital mutilation, levirate and unequal inheritance rights for women, provide for adequate sanctions and ensure the effective implementation of the provisions; (b) To expeditiously adopt a comprehensive strategy...more
March 14, 2018, 6:54 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-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
Dec. 15, 2017, 10:34 a.m.
Countries: Zimbabwe
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"The dispossession of old women continues despite laws that, on paper, protect them from predatory in-laws . This is thanks to two quirks in Zimbabwe’s legal system. 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. (This custom helped HIV spread like wildfire.) Although wives are no longer handed over these days, their homes and property still are" (para 5-6).
Dec. 13, 2017, 10:58 p.m.
Countries: India
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"He says the women have no rights, including when it comes to inheritance. "I'm yet to see a case where they have legally inherited some land in their name. They are not accepted as a member of the family," he says" (para 21-22).
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).