Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Core elements of legislation on the maltreatment of widows

Last edited: February 27, 2011

This content is available in


The following elements should be established as the core elements of any law on the maltreatment of widows:

  • Prohibition against discrimination against women in all areas of life;
  • Explicit extension of prohibition against discrimination to matters involving adoption, marriage, divorce, dissolution, marital property, inheritance and other personal matters;
  • Equal property and inheritance rights for women and for girls;
  • Equal rights and responsibilities in marriage and with regard to the family;
  • Equal rights in land tenure and property reform;
  • Victim protection and support;
  • Public awareness and education about the maltreatment of widows, women’s human rights, laws, and remedies;
  • Trainings for legal actors, religious, traditional and community leaders and NGOs on women’s human rights, laws and the dynamics of the widow maltreatment;
  • Accountability for perpetrators who violate women’s human rights;
  • Registration of all marriages;
  • Harmonization of the legal framework that addresses women’s human rights and equality in family law, inheritance laws, land and property systems, regulations, customary laws, and criminal and civil codes.