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UN adopts resolution on Rights of Widows

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to uphold the rights of widows on March 15th 2022

The resolution calls on member states, the UN system and other international and regional organizations to urgently address all forms of discrimination, violence, marginalization, stigmatization and exclusion experienced in certain parts of the world by widows, and to work toward eliminating all forms of discrimination against widows and ending harmful practices.

It strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and violence against widows, recognizing that discrimination and violence are an impediment to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and to the full realization of all human rights.

It calls on member states to take appropriate measures to establish domestic processes for registering and recognizing all marriages while eliminating child, early and forced marriage, and to ensure that widows have full access to inheritance and social protection.

It also calls on member states to develop, strengthen and implement comprehensive social protection systems that take into account the needs of widows and their children, as well as widowed girls or adult widows who were married as girls.

The resolution further calls on member states to eliminate any barriers, legal inconsistencies and discriminatory policies and laws that impede the rights of all women, including widows, regarding land, property and inheritance. It calls on member states to remove all discriminatory laws and policies that prohibit or hinder widows’ access to capital and decent work.

It urges members states to strongly condemn and eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, including harmful practices, such as harmful mourning and burial rites, female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage.

It calls on member states to collect and analyse high-quality, timely, reliable and globally comparable data on the status of widows in order to close the existing information gap on widowhood.