Widows Panel HRC 38: Widows of All Ages – Increase in Numbers & Discrimination – New Research & Advocacy
Date: October 8, 2018
UN Human Rights Council Session 38
WIDOWS ALL AGES – INCREASE IN NUMBERS & DISCRIMINATION – NEW RESEARCH
June 21, 2018
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Palais des Nations – Room V
PANEL PARTICIPANTS & WIDOWS ADVOCACY COALITION:
*Ms. Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia, UN CEDAW Committee Member from Nigeria – Statement
*Dr. Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women – Invited
*Ms. Margaret Owen, UK – Barrister – Founder & Director, Widows for Peace Through Democracy
*Dr. Lori Post, Northwestern University – New Research on Violence Against Widows
*Ms. Jennifer Wu, Board – Global Fund for Widows
*Ms. Roseline Orwa, Rona Foundation of Kenya – Widows’ Discrimination Video
*Dr. Mohinder Watson, Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage/ICW-CIF – Child Widows
*Ms. Lily Thapa – Founder, Nepal Women For Human Rights Single Women Group – SANWED South Asian Widows
*Ms. Meera Khanna, Guild of Service Trustee, India – Last Woman First Global Alliance
*Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, Nigeria Widows Developmental Organisation – Medical Women’s Association
*Ms. Ferdous Ara Begum, Bangladesh – Former CEDAW Committee Member – Board, HelpAge International
*Ms. Silvia Perel-Levin, Chair UN NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva – Older Women Widows
*Ms. Lys Anzia, Women News Network – Statement on Lesbian Widows
Moderator: Ms. Lois A. Herman, Founder/Coordinator WUNRN, Women’s UN Report Network
WIDOWS DISCRIMINATION PANEL – CONCEPT STATEMENT – HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 38
Widows are exponentially increasing in numbers, and continue to be one of the most neglected of human rights issues.
Widows are pervasively subjected to stigmatization, extreme poverty, marginalization, harmful practices, and violations of their human rights, survival, dignity.
Wars and conflicts, diseases, migration and displacement, child marriages, natural disasters, and climate change have resulted in a dramatic escalation of numbers of widows of all ages, around the world.
This Widows Panel will build on serious focused advocacy of a core group of dedicated individuals and programs, over years, to address the invisibility, social injustices, and lack of political and public will to provide widows of all ages with the dignified legal, economic, civil, and social rights they are entitled.
This Parallel Event also will build on the steps forward on widows’ advocacy made at the recent UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 62 in NYC. Two High Level Panels focused on widows’ issues and rights. At CSW 62, widows for the first time ever were noted in the Draft Agreed Conclusions.
This Human Rights Council Session 38 Widows’ Panel will introduce new empirical research on violence against widows in Africa and beyond. Such research will move forward widows’ polices.
Our HRC 38 Panel will specifically call for data on widows, for widows’ “mapping”as a catalyst for government engagement and policies. The Panel will clearly describe the need for widows’ documentation of birth and marriage, for records of husbands’ death, for land and property and inheritance rights.
We are in touch with governments, Special Rapporteurs, and UN Mechanisms that can relate to widows and their children, and catalyze attention and initiatives for widows’ human rights.
We are also honored that the UN CEDAW Committee is participating on this Panel, and that widows’ rights advocates have been invited to present at the CEDAW Committee July Session.
We believe that providing widows with their deserved rights will enable them to emerge from poverty and discrimination, to become agents of change and development, now and for the future.
Photo: The Caribbean Current