NEWS FROM WPD, PARTNERS & NETWORK MEMBERS

In Myanmar, state terror has been unleashed by the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) which took control of the country on February 1, 2021 in a coup de etat.
Communities such as the Karen, Chin, Rohingya, Mon, Hmong, and Kachin are facing extraordinary problems, because the Tatmadaw mainly targets these groups because of their ethnic and religious identities.

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As the number of widows and wives of the missing continues to grow, the international community remains silent on this ever-pressing issue.
The neglect from national governments and other global institutions, including the United Nations (UN), serves to increase the poverty, displacement and vulnerability that widows and their children face daily…

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Shamsia Hassani and her remarkable work as an Afghani female artist, vigorously, bravely, promotes the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan through her powerful images.
She is a wonderful beacon of hope for so many marginalised ‘invisible’ women across the world.

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This month WPD celebrates the work and achievements of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka after her 8 years leading UN Women and fighting for equality, justice and an end to oppression for women in all their diversity as well as the most marginalized women and girls, including widows of all ages.
Phumzile has set a new standard by speaking out on behalf of the most marginalised women, often kept in the shadows of life and made ‘invisible’ by their communities and governments.

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At WPD through our wonderful partners and networkers who send us regular updates, we know that the daughters of widows, if they are not in school, become vulnerable to traffickers, prostitution and unsafe working practices and behaviours. All marginalized children become vulnerable to child labour, child-soldiery, radicalization and unaccompanied migration.

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Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD) joined our partners for International Widows Day on 23 June 2021.
A ‘virtual’ commemorative event was hosted at the Guild of Service India by the South Asian Network for Widows’ Empowerment in Development (SANWED), in collaboration with UN Women on 23 June 2021 to mark the occasion of International Widows Day. This was a webinar focused on the impact of COVID-19 and its subsequent lockdowns on widows, particularly in South Asia.

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Covid19 is the world’s widow maker. Building forward transformatively from Covid means supporting marginalized, ‘invisible’ and stigmatized widows of all ages to combat poverty, disease and fight for their rights.

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Margaret Owen is a widows’ rights advocate and human rights lawyer. Although she had been involved in the women’s rights movement for most of her life, Owen hadn’t paid attention to widows’ rights until her husband’s passing. Shortly after the death of her husband, a woman from Malawi whom she was helping came to her home. “Before she even sat down, she gasped,” recalls Own. “Looking around my living room, she said, ‘your husbands’ brothers let you stay here and keep all these things?’”

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As well as publicly launching our ground-breaking Dossier, we were honoured to be joined by distinguished speakers from the United Nations as well as the authors of and contributors to our Dossier – joining us live on our Zoom platform from Iraq, Kashmir, Kenya, Nepal, New York and the UK, along with a registered worldwide audience…

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