RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED 258 MILLION WIDOWS AROUND THE WORLD, AND NEARLY ONE IN TEN LIVE IN EXTREME POVERTY.
The loss of a partner is devastating. For many women, that loss is magnified by a long-term struggle for basic needs, their human rights and dignity. They may be denied inheritance rights to the piece of land that they relied on for a livelihood or evicted from their homes, forced into unwanted marriages or traumatising widowhood rituals. They are stigmatized for life, shunned and shamed. And, many of these abuses go unnoticed, even normalized.
When we empower a woman, she is better able to support her family, give her children a good education, and break the cycle of poverty.
Empower A Widow Today
Across a wide range of cultures, widows are subject to harsh male-controlled customary laws and are vulnerable to economic abuse, sexual harassment and gender-based violence and abuse including pressure for Early Child Marriage of their children. This now urgently calls for attention, given the extent and severity of the challenges widows’ experience.
There is a need to empower and help widows to gain skills that will bring income, which will in turn create a positive, direct impact on their livelihoods and participate in decision-making processes.
Women contribute the most to growing the economy. Women are also the ones who spend increased household income on the whole family, especially children. That’s why we target widows in poor communities by helping them to start businesses and become local leaders.