Kenya: UN Women Roots for Policies to End Widows’ Plight


UN Women estimates that there are more than 250 million widows globally, with one in ten facing discrimination and extreme poverty.

In Kenya, there are approximately four million widows according to the Government census of 2019, who continue to face challenges that involve disinheritance, discrimination and harmful traditional practices that include cleansing rites and sexual violence.

The UN Women is now pushing for the establishment of a global lasting solution to address widows’ plight.

During the 65th session of Commission on the Status of Women hosted by the Global Fund for Widows held recently, UN Women Executive Director, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the UN Women is now pushing for the establishment of a global lasting solution to address widows’ plight.

“It is important to address these issues and ensure there is a policy and legal environment for women to have recourse,” she said.

The challenges widows face are an impediment to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which among others, emphasises on gender equality.

Kenya is currently putting in place policy and legislative framework in place to address the plight of widows.

Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia who attended the virtual event, said the government through her ministry is spearheading the establishment of pioneering programs for widows that gives them space in political participation.

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