"I and my children were beaten and kicked out of our house by the  brothers-in-law. We live by begging, in continual fear”

This is the fate of millions of widows : traditional customs in sub-Saharan Africa can lead to dire poverty and abuse of widows and their children. Widows lose their homes, possessions, livelihood, as well as  their children to their husband's family.

Even when laws exist to prevent the abuse of widows, ignorance of the law or cultural habits, impede access or implementation of legal remedies.  WRI works with local partners at grassroots levels for social justice and human rights for widows.

An example of making a difference was sent to us by our partner organisation in Northern Ghana. By bringing together local Chiefs, village headmen and other men of influence to listen to the traumatic events widows in the local area have to suffer, the organisation was able to convince these important people to bring to an end harmful practices such as a widow being forced to drink the water her husband's corpse was washed in.