“Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.” Deuteronomy 27:19a
Today is International Widows’ Day (IWD), a day to recognize the situation that widows (of all ages) face internationally and at home. From the United Nations:
Absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, neglected by national and local authorities and mostly overlooked by civil society organizations – the situation of widows is, in effect, invisible.
Yet abuse of widows and their children constitutes one of the most serious violations of human rights and obstacles to development today. Millions of the world’s widows endure extreme poverty, ostracism, violence, homelessness, ill health and discrimination in law and custom.
Despite some gains in gender equality worldwide, many women are still among the most vulnerable and marginalized. One woman tells of horrific abuse she suffered because she is a widow:
When Clarisse’s husband died of malaria last year in the Cameroonian city of Douala, she was kicked out of their home by his family and forced to marry his brother.