India

Govt does away with regressive 'remarry brother-in-law' clause to continue army widows' pension benefits

The defence ministry's move surprised Tweeples who asked how such a regressive rule existed in the first place. The defence ministry has done away with a clause that required the widow of an army man to either marry her brother in law or to observe complete widowhood for entire life to avail pension benefits. Taking to Twitter, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said “The condition of the widow’s remarriage with the late husband’s brother for continuation of the monetary allowance has been removed by the Ministry of Defence”.

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What it means to be a widow in India today

Public policy has largely ignored specific problems of widows in India. And given their numbers, this exclusion can prove costly for society in general. In India the gender dimensions are much stronger than in most other countries — and they affect many more women. There are at least 55 million widows in India, probably more. That is around the same as the entire population of countries like South Africa and Tanzania, more than all the people in South Korea or Myanmar.

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Indian farmers' widows suffer threats to children over land – report

Widows of farmers who have committed suicide in western India face abuse and threats to their children’s safety when they demand their inheritance, highlighting the risks vulnerable women face in claiming rights over property, a report said. Thousands of farmers kill themselves every year in Maharashtra state over failed crops and mounting debt. The most common reason cited is the inability to repay loans for seeds and fertilisers. While an upsurge in suicides has prompted the state to write off farmers’ debts and offer subsidised loans and insurance, many of these benefits are denied to widows, according to the study of 157 farmers’ widows.

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Africa

Alakija’s foundation empowers widows, orphans in Lagos

Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF) owned by Africa’s richest woman, Mrs Folorunso Alakija has empowered over 1000 wdows with skills. The programme was held at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos. Guest speaker at the event, the wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said for widows to survive, they should have sustainable income. She said widowhood might not translate to be harrowing, if women were equipped with skills. She urged struggling widows to shun the feeling of helplessness and apply the initiative to hold their families together.

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Europe

Tripping on the Path of Widowhood: Living with Emotional Abuse

Loneliness made me accept the unacceptable. Loneliness plus inertia. I should have ended the relationship far sooner. I saw who he was, but shut my eyes, trying not to see the real him. I was embarrassed to talk about it. But I have to if I’m going to continue to write about my journey through widowhood. It’s a dark, meandering journey full of holes. Sometimes I fall into one of them and twist an ankle.

When you’re happily partnered, life floats along companionably. Not being alone when you’re single takes work. I spiral through endless text threads to organize a dinner with friends, a movie with the girls, a date with a stranger.

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Jane & Adam Broke Up On ‘Jane The Virgin’ But The Widow Learned In The Process That Her Life Is Far From Over

It'd be an understatement to say that Jane has had a pretty rough last couple of years on Jane The Virgin, including losing her husband after just a year of marriage. with losing the love of her life after only one year of marriage. Finally, Jane learns on Jane The Virgin that it's OK to fall in love again.

Fans rejoiced in Season 4 of The CW series when Jane's first love Adam came back into her life. After four years without Michael, Jane found herself catching feelings for Adam. And though their relationship didn't last, she allowed herself to deeply feel something for another person again. And as Jane The Virgin offers a rare depiction of young widowhood, it's so important to show that, while grief may be forever, Jane's life is far from over.

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USA and Canada

The Greenville Modern Widows Club helps women move forward and navigate life after the loss of a partner

The Modern Widows Club (MWC) is more than meets the eye. It’s not just a grief support group or a monthly meeting; it serves as a beacon of hope for women of all ages and belief systems who have lost their partners. The group was founded by Carolyn Moor of Florida, who lost her husband 17 years ago. “I was turned down by two churches to start a widows ministry, because they didn’t think there was enough need. So I kind of laughed and said, ‘OK, I’ll do this myself,’ and that’s where it all started,” she explained.

Now there are 19 chapters nationwide, and the Greenville chapter of MWC is the only one in South Carolina. Moor wanted to create an organization that was more than just grief counseling. She also wanted to “empower women in widowhood to lean into life, to build resilience, and to make a positive difference in the world,” she says.

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Beyond Holiday Cheer: Supporting the Widows in Your Church During the Holidays

Can your church add another focus this season?
The holidays are a time for celebrations, special music, presentations, and parties. Churches decorate and plan special events for all. Almost. Holidays can be harsh times for those suffering loss, especially widows. If you have a thriving widows' ministry, I applaud you. If not, consider this: we lose 75 percent of our friend network with the loss of our husband and our family tree shakes, sometimes crazily. This is a season we need you more than ever. Let me help you help us.

Please know I realize that staff and volunteers are stretched thin. Can your church add yet another focus this season? Any small outreach will be greatly appreciated! And I can promise you God's blessing and added comfort beyond measure for any effort you extend to help widows through this season.

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SOUTH ASIA

India

Designer Ayush Kejriwal weaves messages into his creations

Among the rich patolas and tota haars, there are little social messages on the @designerayushkejriwal Instagram account. There are notes about widowhood and the use of colour, and about dark-skinned women being able to wear anything. It's taken him a while to find his footing though, and it has been about drawing threads from his own life in a sort of tapestry that forms his work today.

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BWW Review: THE WHITE SARI in New Delhi

The five meter long Indian drape has across epochs defined several aspects of an Indian woman's existence. 'The White Sari' is a tremendous and if I may say a very colorful attempt at understanding the several shades of cultural control over women. The play begins with a young woman losing her red bridal sari in exchange of a white one because of her new found widowhood. She is shown as a reluctant participant of the act yet later embodies the spirit of the new group she is attached to. Disowned by her family and loved ones, she finds shelter outside the vulnerable and palpable negligence of the world in an ashram for widows. The play then explores the lives of these women, their submission and subversion of the customs they have been thrown into.

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Pakistan

Life after the partner

For many of us growing up in Pakistan, one of the first memories that introduced us to the concept of widowhood of a woman came through some aunt who had lost her husband, and other aunts, dressed in vibrant reds and pinks, ushered that one aunt dressed in white or the dullest of colours away from the stage on mehndis and other wedding functions, as a widow was considered a bad omen.

Today a widow is not ready to accept her traditional role in society of being dependent on others for everything in life

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United States

How Advisors Can Tailor Their Services For Widows

Anecdotal evidence abounds about widows and their uncertainty about or even fear of–finances after their husbands’ deaths. But one advisor has set out to research exactly how widows cope, and how advisors can serve them better.

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The love issue 2018: Moving on

The loss of a beloved spouse may be a life-altering moment, but it needn’t be the end of the road. Paul Kalanithi, an Indian-born American neurosurgeon diagnosed with lung cancer, died days short of turning 38 in March 2015, while Nina Riggs, an American poet and writer, died of breast cancer at the age of 39 in February 2017. Paul left behind his wife, Lucy, daughter Cady, and an incredible reflection on his life and last days, When Breath Becomes Air; Nina wrote The Bright Hour, recording her struggle with saying goodbye to her husband, John, and their two sons, Freddy and Benny. While she was sick, Nina wrote a column about it in the “Modern Love” section of The New York Times. Lucy read it and wrote her a fan mail, then later went on to give a glowing endorsement of her book.

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Middle East

The Supreme Court has recognized right to charge widow's pension to two wives of a Moroccan citizen who served Spanish army in Sahara and who perceived a pay from Spanish state. But both widows will have to share pay. The supreme order that pension, which did have first woman recognized, be distributed equally between two women.

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Africa

Invisible and Excluded: The Fate of Widows and Divorcees in Africa

Across Africa, the impact of marital death and divorce falls more heavily on women, who may be excluded socially and lose their home and property after a marriage ends. One in ten African women above the age of 14 is widowed, and six percent are divorced. Many more have been widowed or divorced at some point in their lives.

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February 14: Widows’ day out

With smiles on their faces and shoulders held high, widows in their hundreds celebrated their Valentine party in grand style on Wednesday. The ‘Head High International Organization’, a Non Governmental Organisation for widows, gathered widows together at the VGINIS hall in Yaba axis of Lagos, as part of its visions to give succor to widows on a day famously celebrated as lover’s day all over the world. These women have no husbands or supporters anymore. They are left to cater for children single-handedly in a society where forces against single-women are on the increase. Head-High foundation did not, however, leave these women to bow their heads in shame or feel irrelevant, rather, they gave hope to those who felt they were hopeless and had their heads high again.

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Widows: our fond memories of Valentine’s Day

February 14, while many lovers would be having a treat and sending gifts, others would not be privileged to do same. They can’t celebrate like the others because of their peculiar situation. And it is no fault of theirs. These are women who have lost their husbands and have had their love lives stricture. While others look forward to Valentine’s Day with exhilaration, to these women, the day casts a slur on their joy because it reminds them everything they once shared with their husbands. While some are still sulking, others have in a way turned their grief into something of worth. Reliving her Valentine’s Day experience before her husband passed on, a widow, Adenike Felicia Oyinlola, who is an educationist, said: Valentine’s Day was like a festival akin to Christmas.

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UK and Europe

The National Widowers' Organization Presents New Blog Addition

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass., Jan. 16, 2018 a new addition to the blog series on the organization's website ( https://nationalwidowers.org/unlocking-grief/) by Stanley Kissel, Ph.D., is available to help those dealing with the emotions from the loss of a spouse or loved one. Dr. Kissel, a retired clinical psychologist, was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at Monroe County Community College, Nazareth College and the University of Rochester. He has authored five psychology books and conducted workshops throughout the United States. He is on the board of the National Widowers' Organization.

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Africa

Kenyan Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence explicitly bans "widow cleansing", which is the act of sexual intercourse that a widow must go through in the Luo community that they believe is required to break the spiritual bond between the widows and her dead husband. They maintain that if sexual cleaning of the widow does not take place, various calamities will take place in the community, particularly to people the widows has direct contact with. See the Loomba Foundation's World Widows Report for further details and sources of formal research conducted on widow cleansing by international researchers, including medical journals with articles looking at widow cleansing's epidemiological effect on HIV incidence and prevalence.

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