Definitions and Forms of Maltreatment of Widows

last updated December 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



Definition of Maltreatment of Widows

Drafters should recognize that the maltreatment of widows encompasses various types of human rights violations. Widows face maltreatment that includes domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, trafficking, property grabbing, conversion of property, forced evictions, as well as discrimination against women in regard to marriage, its dissolution and divorce, property and land rights, children and inheritance. Civil and criminal laws must address and prohibit all of these forms, protect the rights of women and girls, provide a legal remedy, and promote accountability for perpetrators.