Our major achievement has been the publication of World Widows Report. This comprehensive research study was launched at a parallel event during the 60th anniversary meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York on 17 March, 2016. Earlier, the publication had been welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi and the director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London, Dr Robin Niblett.
World Widows Report shows that discrimination against widows is deeply ingrained in cultures across all continents, resulting in extreme poverty, gender-based violence, child labour, discrimination against girls, increased infant mortality and numerous other severe consequences, which directly affect over 259 million widows and 584 million their children around the world. It has also revealed that discrimination against widows is a deep-rooted feature of gender discrimination all over the world, though its form and impacts differ from place to place and from culture to culture – from shocking stories of child widows below the age of 10 in parts of India, and widows in some African countries forced to undergo degrading “cleansing” rituals.