ISLAMABAD: Despite being 52 per cent of the world total population, the women lack recognition in male-dominant society and have to face worst situation in case of a widow or a single woman. The widows and single women do not get right of inheritance in property. There are laws to strengthen the women but they are not being implemented in most parts of the world. Millions of children are pulled from the schools every year just because their widow mothers cannot afford to pay the school fees.
Most of the speakers expressed these views during the first day of the workshop held in collaboration with South Asian Network for Widows’ Empowerment in Development (SANWED) on Wednesday.
The workshop focuses on issues and challenges being faced by widows and single women across South Asia. Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment Syeda Fiza Batool Gilani, Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Director AGHS and former special representative of United Nations Secretary General for Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani, Director, Widows for Peace through Democracy, UK and international focalperson for SANWED Margaret Owen, Founder, Women for Human Rights (WHR), General Secretary, SANWED, Nepal, Lily Thapa, Chairperson of Guild for Service, India, Dr Mohini Giri, Gender Issues Specialist and former member UN CEDAW Committee, Bangladesh, Ferdous Ara Begum, Executive Director, ASR Institute of Women Studies, Nighat Said Khan, former chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women, Anis Haroon and Norwegian ambassador Cecilie Landsverk participated in the workshop.
Anis Haroon said in Pakistan, widows either remarried or had to spend their lives with their families. In many cases they were forced to marry with the brother of the deceased husband.