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

Latest items for WR-PRACTICE-2

Aug. 9, 2019, 1 p.m.
Countries: D R Congo

"According to UNICEF, many widows were unable to inherit their late husbands’ property because the law states that in event of a death in which there is no will, the husband’s children, including those born out of wedlock (provided that they were officially recognized by the father), rather than the widow, have precedence with regard to inheritance" (page 41).
July 19, 2019, 12:22 p.m.
Countries: Nepal

"Dalit women in particular faced discrimination by virtue of their gender and caste status. The law grants women equal shares of their parents’ inheritance and the right to keep their property after marriage, but many women were not aware of their rights, and others were afraid to challenge existing practice. The law also grants widows complete access and authority to the estate of their deceased husbands; however, traditional attitudes stigmatizing and shunning widows persisted, and communities often ignored the law, while the government did not take sufficient measures to enforce it" (Pg 28).
July 18, 2019, 8:56 p.m.
Countries: Bangladesh
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"During field level consultation in Dinajpur in 3 separate villages, no women seem to have received benefits from the widow allowance and elderly allowance programmes. Also, very few ever received VGD/VDF cards" (15).
July 9, 2019, 2:45 p.m.
Countries: Zambia
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"The NGOCC and several of its member organizations observed that the country’s dual system of customary and statutory law made it difficult to end injustices against women. For instance polygyny is legally permitted under customary law. Women’s organizations stated that the bride price had entrenched societal patriarchal dominance. The practice of “sexual cleansing,” in which a widow is compelled to have sexual relations with her late husband’s relatives as part of a cleansing ritual, declined significantly; some local leaders banned the practice. The penal code prohibits “sexual cleansing” of girls under age 16" (Pg 21). "Property grabbing from widows remained widespread, particularly in rural areas. Courts generally considered property grabbing...more
July 2, 2019, 2:25 p.m.
Countries: Swaziland
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Although the constitution states that “a woman shall not be compelled to undergo or uphold any custom to which she is in conscience opposed,” adherents of traditional family practices might treat a woman as an outcast if she refused to undergo the mourning rite, and a widow who did not participate might lose her home and inheritance. When the husband dies, tradition dictates that the widow must stay at her husband’s family’s residence in observance of a strict mourning period for one month, during which time she may not leave the house, and the husband’s family may move into the homestead and take control of its operations. The media reported...more
June 14, 2019, 2:55 p.m.
Countries: Nigeria

"Despite the new federal law, purdah, the cultural practice of secluding women and pubescent girls from unrelated men, continued in various parts of the North. In some parts of the country, widows experienced unfavorable conditions as a result of discriminatory traditional customs. “Confinement,” which occurred predominantly in the Northeast, remained the most common rite of deprivation for widows. Confined widows stayed under social restrictions for as long as one year and usually shaved their heads and dressed in black as part of a culturally mandated mourning period. In other areas communities viewed a widow as a part of her husband’s property to be “inherited” by his family. In some traditional...more
June 10, 2019, 4:14 p.m.
Countries: Mozambique
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Within the context of high HIV and AIDS prevalence among women, for example, priority was given to the reduction of transmission of HIV and AIDS to women, which occur during the widow’s purification ceremonies, through sensitization of community leaders and traditional healers and the community about the risks posed by unprotected sexual activities" (14).
March 29, 2019, 5:33 p.m.
Countries: Malawi
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"The Gender Equality Act of 2013 prohibits certain harmful traditional practices, including 'widow cleansing' and 'widow inheritance.' Nonetheless, in some areas widows were sometimes forced to have sex with male in-laws or a designee 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" (para 86). "Widows often were victims of discriminatory and illegal inheritance practices in which most of an estate was taken by the deceased husband’s family" (para 92).
March 18, 2019, 9:18 a.m.
Countries: Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, "Widows cannot work, like most women in traditional areas, and any inheritance or property would go to her husband’s brothers, not to his widow or children."
March 1, 2019, 11:52 p.m.
Countries: Qatar

"The Social Security Act (No. 38 of 1995) and its amendments provides for social security pensions for persons of unknown parentage, orphans, persons unable to work, the elderly, widows, divorcees, deserted wives, families of prisoners, families of missing persons and families in need" (54).
Jan. 29, 2019, 2:53 p.m.
Countries: Kuwait
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"The establishment of a housing fund to support certain groups of women (widows, divorcees, unmarried women and women married to non-Kuwaiti citizens)" (pg. 2).
Dec. 6, 2018, 12:25 p.m.
Countries: Trinidad/Tobago

"The Committee is concerned about the situation of female-headed households, widows, older women and women with disabilities, who often suffer intersecting forms of discrimination, especially with regard to access to employment, health care and social services. It notes with regret the limited information provided by the State party in this regard" (page 13).
Nov. 16, 2018, 9:46 a.m.
Countries: Burma/Myanmar

"Kayan, Karenni/Kayah and Kayaw: According to their custom, daughters and wives do not have the right to own land. Women can only own land when their husband has passed away. However, if the son is already an adult, the land will automatically go to the son. Although there is no written law, the custom has been practiced for many generations. Source: Kayan Women’s Organisation (KYWO). Kuki: According to the Kuki people’s custom and traditions, Kuki women have never had the right to own land or property at any point in time. When the husband passes away, title is passed to his oldest son, the oldest brother of the husband or...more
Sept. 5, 2018, 9:58 a.m.
Countries: Thailand
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Women who have become widows and heads of household as a result of male family members having been arrested, disappeared or killed, and who face stigma and difficulties in earning a living and supporting their families" (7).
Sept. 4, 2018, 10:25 a.m.
Countries: Mozambique
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Some women widowed by HIV/AIDS were accused of being witches who purposely killed their husbands to acquire belongings; as retribution, they were deprived of all possessions" (21).
Sept. 4, 2018, 10:21 a.m.
Countries: Malawi
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Nonetheless, in a few isolated areas, widows were sometimes forced to have sex with male in-laws or a designee 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. The government and NGOs continued efforts to abolish such practices by raising awareness concerning the inherent dangers of such behavior, including the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission" (16). "Women often had less access to legal and financial assistance, and widows often were victims of discriminatory and illegal inheritance practices in which most of an estate was taken by the deceased husband’s family" (17).more
Aug. 28, 2018, 10:03 a.m.
Countries: Mali

"The Committee expresses concern that harmful practices, such as child and forced marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation and other forms of excision, humiliating and degrading widowhood practices, force-feeding, levirate and sororate, remain prevalent and unpunished in the State party" (page 6).
June 3, 2018, 6:04 p.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Widows are often rejected as immoral or regarded as burdens: they suffer violence, expulsion, ostracism and sometimes forced remarriage, often with a brother-in-law, as reported by the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a rare study published in 2014," (1). Often uneducated and cloistered at home, the women have few options if their husbands die. At best, they receive $150 a year from the government if their husband was killed in fighting. They survive by doing household chores, a little sewing, or by sending their children to beg in the bazaar," (1).
March 14, 2018, 3:42 p.m.
Countries: Guinea

"The Committee is concerned about the situation of women heads of households, widows, refugees and women with disabilities, who often suffer multiple forms of discrimination, especially with regard to access to land, education, employment, adequate housing, health care and social services" (15).
March 14, 2018, 12:08 p.m.
Countries: Swaziland

"While noting the State party’s provision of small financial grants to older persons and efforts to improve the lives of women with disabilities and widows, the Committee is concerned at the lack of disaggregated data on the challenges that those groups of women face in the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention. The Committee calls upon the State party: (a) To pay special attention to the needs of older women, women with disabilities and widows to ensure that they enjoy equal access to health care, training, employment and other rights; (b) To collect disaggregated data on the status of older women, women with disabilities and widows, focusing on the...more
Feb. 26, 2018, 11:48 a.m.
Countries: India
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"'My in-laws brought pressure on me to leave home without my girls and get the foetus aborted. They even offered Rs. 2 lakh, but I refused and stay put in the house. Even now, my children and I have to face a lot of harassment and discrimination,' Yadamma said" (Para 3). "The women [widows] are also subjected to severe discrimination and abuse, which is so internalised by them that they are unmoved by it. 'Nobody invites us to any auspicious occasion. I cannot attend the functions of my own children,' says Yadamma, with a tinge of sadness, while B. Somakka from Brahmanakothapalli village of Mahbubabad district does not see why...more
Jan. 11, 2018, 6:37 p.m.
Countries: Nepal
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"The Facebook challenge to bring down the stigma associated with widows, who have to dress only in white after their husband’s death, has gained a lot of traction among young women in the last ten days" (para 2). "With more than 60,000 youths taking up the challenge, Lily Thapa, the founder of Women for Human Rights, is overwhelmed by the response. 'The colour red symbolises passion and life so our culture prohibits widows from wearing anything red. Women are forced to wear only white attire, which I believe takes a toll on their beauty. So, the main aim of this campaign is to change that mentality,' says Lily. Kicking off...more
Dec. 13, 2017, 4:23 p.m.
Countries: Iraq
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"A member of Iraq’s parliament has put forward a proposal to legalise polygamy in the country to 'protect the dignity' of widows, divorced women, and older women who choose not to marry" (para 1). If the dignity of widows needs to be protected, this indicates that their reputation may be at risk otherwise (AA-CODER COMMENT).
Dec. 1, 2017, 1:47 p.m.
Countries: Ghana
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Many elderly women in northern Ghana have fled their homes to live in so-called witch camps. They have been accused of witchcraft and fear being killed" (para 1). "'How can someone like me be sitting in her house and you come to tell me I have spiritual powers?' laments sixty-year-old Hajia Barichisu. She is one of the many women accused of practicing witchcraft in Poloyafong district in the city of Tamale in northern Ghana. She was targeted by those fighting against the practice" (para 2). CC: It is highly likely that these elderly women are widows.
Nov. 30, 2017, 12:02 p.m.
Countries: China
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"Though the Marriage Law gave women the right to land within the household unit and the Agrarian Reform Law granted men and women equal rights to land in general, in much of rural PRC customary practices prevail. Sons, rather than widows or daughters, continue to be considered the natural heirs of land (OECD 2010, p. 25)"(25)
Nov. 29, 2017, 1:38 p.m.
Countries: India

"A study was conducted of 81 schools in the Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Karnataka, where mid-day meal schemes were introduced in 2002 following an order by the Indian Supreme Court...The program was also found to free mothers from the burden of feeding children at home at mid-day, a benefit especially to widowed mothers who often work outside the home without any domestic support (Drèze and Goyal 2003, p. 4676)"(62)
Nov. 29, 2017, 10:09 a.m.
Countries: Bangladesh
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2, GP-DATA-5

"Institutions that build solidarity among such women [female-headed households and widows] can lessen some of these impacts [lower income and higher food prices], as seen among certain indigenous ethnic groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh (Mallick and Rafi 2010)"(12)
Oct. 26, 2017, 11:51 a.m.
Countries: Nepal
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"When a woman in Nepal loses her husband, she often wears white clothes. The culture also requires widows to shun merriment and live in virtual seclusion"(para 1)."Rani Maya Shrestha was working on a neighbor’s potato farm when the first of Nepal’s two massive earthquakes struck last year. She rushed home to find her husband buried in the ruins of their house northeast of the capital Kathmandu.'I should have died with him,' said Shrestha inside the tin hovel that has been her home for the last year. 'Without my husband, my life has become meaningless'"(para 1-2)."Twin quakes in April and May 2015 killed some 9,000 people in the Himalayan nation, leaving...more
Oct. 23, 2017, 4:25 p.m.
Countries: Saudi Arabia

"A group of marriage officials in Saudi Arabia have formed a group on WhatsApp to matchmake men with multiple wives in an attempt to deal with the 'problem' of a rising number of divorced women, widows, and spinsters in the country" (para 1).
Oct. 20, 2017, 10 a.m.
Countries: Afghanistan
Variables: WR-PRACTICE-2

"After her husband’s death, she received a pension of 7,500 afghanis ($120) a month. But a year later that money stopped, she said—the government isn’t sure why—forcing her to ask for her brothers’ help to feed her children" (para 3). "The Afghan Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyred and Disabled says it pays benefits to the roughly 80,000 war widows who have registered to receive them. Wives of fallen soldiers, policemen or other government employees are entitled to a regular stipend equal to their spouses’ salaries, while widows of civilians killed in attacks are permitted 5,000 afghanis a month. But the number receiving benefits is far below the actual number...more