Parallel Event on Rural Widowhood, Wednesday,February 29th, 2012; Boss Room, Church Centre, 2.30 pm - 4.00pm
To: UN, International Community, Governments, and CEDAW
- Appoint a Special Representative on Widowhood (in Conflict Zones)
- Commission a Special Report on Widowhood in Developing/Conflict afflicted countries
- UN Women should establish a special section to address widowhood issues in context of human rights/VAW/poverty reduction/conflict resolution and peace building
- Adopt a UN Resolution on Widowhood
- Acknowledge rural widows as sub-sect of women experiencing special forms of abuse that require specific responses and remedies
- Support widows' groups through resources for their empowerment, and fill gap in data
- Acknowledge that abuse of rural widows of all ages is one of root causes of poverty, hunger, homelessness and GBV
- Address the impact of rural widowhood on the girl child
- Address widow-abuse as a major issue in combating GBV
To: Governments and UN WOMEN
- Mainstream widowhood issues in all gender/equality/Human Rights policies and laws
- Ensure implementation of International and modern laws to eliminate discrimination against widows take precedence over discriminatory customs and traditions
- Criminalise discriminatory and abusive practices perpetrated against widows
- Provide for all land registrations to be in wives' names as well as husbands'
- Prohibit "land grabbing" by multinationals and industry, or "gifts" of land to political allies, where such land could be available to women heads of households.
- Support widows' to "band together" to form their own associations so as to have:
. a collective voice to articulate needs and describe roles
. fill gap in data through "mapping and profiling" themselves
. access literacy, education, training, services, justice
. be represented in appropriate decision-making committees
. be consulted, and contribute to strategies to implement
To: CEDAW; BPFA; UN SCR 1325; MDGs
- Criminalise actions that deprive widows of their inheritance, property, and land rights: such as "chasing-off" and "property-grabbing"
- Criminalise coercion of HTPs including harmful and degrading mourning and burial rites
- Develop special "land allocation" schemes, and registration of title to ensure rural widows can own and cultivate land for food security
- Develop extension services and income-generating strategies that will enable rural widows to remain in their villages
- Devise systems to ensure widows enjoy pensions, social security and micro- credit
- Identify economic and sexual exploitation of widows and their daughters in rural areas and as migrants to urban centers
- Protect widows from physical, sexual, and psychological violence.
- Address the specific needs for resettlement and rehabilitation of conflict widows in IDP and refugee camps
- Use all means to remove stereotyping and stigma of widowhood.