Nepal: Widows' Organization to Address Discrimination & Rights
By Lily Thapa, Director and founder of Women for Human Rights, working to support single women who have lost their husbands.
When my husband died I was 29 years old with two young children. I was educated and from a professional middle-class family in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal. My husband was of similar background.
But with his death I realized for myself that education could make inroads into a society only up to a point.
Widow Cleansing: Harmful Traditional Practice
Violence against women still is universal, and while it has many roots, especially in cultural tradition and customs, it is gender inequality that lies at the cross-cultural heart of violent practices. Violence against women is deeply embedded in human history and its universal perpetration through social and cultural norms serves the main purpose of reinforcing male-dominated power structures.
The calls for “equal and inalienable rights” for all people, “without distinction of any kind.”
India: Haryana widows battered to death
Two widows have been bludgeoned to death by a man in the northern Indian state of Haryana, officials say. Police arrested a 23-year-old man, the nephew of one of the women. He was on parole, having served a sentence for rape.
Eyewitnesses told police he killed his aunt and another woman in full view of other villagers, after he accused them of being in a lesbian relationship.
UN Women: Bringing Widows to the Forefront in South Asia
New Delhi—UN Women has launched a three-year regional programme to address the needs of widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Funded jointly by UN Women’s Swiss National Committee and the Standard Chartered Bank, the programme will be implemented to reduce the social ostracism faced by widows. This will be done by collecting data and evidence to highlight the stigma widows face, working with widows’ coalitions so they can speak up and access public services, and by guaranteeing that discriminatory social practices against widows are reviewed and repealed.
Afghanistan: Widow Burnings, Violations
HERAT, Afghanistan — Even the poorest families in have matches and cooking fuel. The combination usually sustains life. But it also can be the makings of a horrifying escape: from poverty, from forced marriages, from the abuse and despondency that can be the fate of Afghan women.
Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation
Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.