Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Nepali widows’ access to legal entitlements: A human rights issue

TitleNepali widows’ access to legal entitlements: A human rights issue
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPoon, PG, Houston, K, Shrestha, A, Rayamajhi, R, Thapa, L, Surkan, PJ
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number02750392 (ISSN)
Keywordshuman rights, legal system, Marriage, Nepal, patriarchy, property rights, social structure

Despite legal reforms, Nepali widows face barriers in exercising their property rights. This article provides a qualitative perspective on Nepali widows’ understanding of their rights and their ability to pursue legal entitlements due to widowhood. In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with seventy-six Nepali widows, four paralegals, and three key informants. They demonstrate that widows have limited success in exercising their property rights and seeking government benefits primarily because of a dominant patriarchal society, familial traditions, and bureaucratic restrictions. Nepali widows’ continued denial of property constitutes a human rights violation that Nepal’s new government should seek to redress. © 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press.