Zimbabwe: New Report Finds Violations of Property and Inheritance Rights of Widows
Saturday, January 28, 2017 8:00 PM

The organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published a new report that describes the abuses experienced by widows related to property grabbing by in-laws and the barriers widows face in defending their property and inheritance rights. The interviewers found that shaming, harassment and physical assault were often used to procure rights to a widow’s property, leaving her without any means of support. Many of the women interviewed also reported difficulty accessing legal resources, particularly in rural areas. Others had difficulty proving their case because their marriages were not registered, as is common in Zimbabwe, while many other women were not aware of their rights.

The report recommends that Zimbabwe focus on improving current laws and regulations, as well as the registration of all new and existing marriages (including posthumous registration), increasing public awareness of widows’ property and inheritance rights, and ensuring widows have access to legal remedies. 

The full report, “You Will Get Nothing,” Violations of Property and Inheritance Rights of Widows in Zimbabwe, is available on HRW’s website.

Compiled from: Zimbabwe: Widows Deprived of Property Rights, Property Grabbing Leaves Many Older Women Destitute, Human Rights Watch (January 24, 2017).