last updated November 2014

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org.


Core elements of legislation on the maltreatment of widows

The following elements should be established as the core elements of any law on the maltreatment of widows: 

  • Prohibition against discrimination against women in all areas of life;
  • Explicit extension of prohibition against discrimination to matters involving adoption, marriage, divorce, dissolution, marital property, inheritance and other personal matters;
  • Equal property and inheritance rights for women and for girls;

  • Equal rights and responsibilities in marriage and with regard to the family;
  • Equal rights in land tenure and property reform;
  • Victim protection and support;
  • Public awareness and education about the maltreatment of widows, women’s human rights, laws, and remedies;

  • Trainings for legal actors, religious, traditional and community leaders and NGOs on women’s human rights, laws and the dynamics of the widow maltreatment;
  • Accountability for perpetrators who violate women’s human rights;
  • Registration of all marriages;
  • Harmonization of the legal framework that addresses women’s human rights and equality in family law, inheritance laws, land and property systems, regulations, customary laws, and criminal and civil codes.