Widowhood

In some cultures, widows are viewed as social outcasts.  Their food is restricted, and they are expected to mourn for the remainder of their lives.  Over 40 million women in India currently face the indignity of being treated as less than human simply because their husband died. Widows are not necessarily old; a child bride can become a widow before she reaches puberty, and face a lifetime of ostracism and indignities. In Africa, some widows do not have the right to inherit property or face the legal or illegal seizure of their property.  Some are forced to undergo demeaning rituals such as shaving their hair, sleeping alone with their husband’s corpse, or even drinking bathwater from the corpse as an “oath of innocence.”

Research & Policy
Impact