Widows and Orphans Development Foundation

Why widow empowerment?

When widows are denied the right to access, own, control or inherit property and the land they live on, it is a violation of their rights. When these women and their children are evicted from their homes because their husbands have died, it is a violation of their rights. When a lack of savings means a lack of health care for themselves and education for their children and grandchildren, it is a violation of their rights. And enduring traditional practices directed at widows, which are inhumane and degrading, is a serious violation of their human rights” (UNFPA, 2011).

The quote above summarises the challenges that widows and their children face after the death of their husbands particularly in developing countries and why we need to empower them.

The plight of widows is a hidden issue in many developing countries. Millions of widows and their children have become the poorest of the poor, often invisible, forgotten and unheard. The challenges faced by widows have largely been invisible to policymakers and the public in general. Their children also have to endure poverty, loss of schooling, child labour, and other forms of deprivation.