Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Preeti Shroff-Metha


Widowhood is the most neglected issue in the women’s rights movements across the developing world and is a problem where violence and severe discrimination are increasing due to conflict, unawareness and male dominated societies. Women in Nepal live in a highly patriarchal society subjected to a life full of misery, humiliation and little basic rights for themselves or for their families after losing their husband and the only life they once knew. Widows are viewed as the curse to their families where they are often blamed for their husband’s death and unfortunately, after the decade long conflict in Nepal the number of widows is at an all time high. Countless cases can be witnessed where single women in a patriarchal society like Nepal are physically and mentally abused. The lack of legal counseling and the prevalent mentality of people towards single women have further worsened the situation. Thus, the need of an organization that serves the needs of single women, Women for Human Rights, Single women group (WHR) came into existence in 1994 as a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kathmandu, Nepal and to this this day has more than 50,000 single women members.

This article examines the campaign WHR effectively sought in pressuring the government to provide social security for all widows regardless of age in the spring of 2010. A case study of the advocacy campaign from the beginning rallies to the many Supreme Court hearings will be discussed. Single women (widows) in Nepal will receive social security, five hundred rupees, (equal to $7.00) from the government to help their financial burdens for their family, to meet basic needs of food and security. The monthly income will lead to greater empowerment through skill building and education and can help lead a life full of dignity due to the hard work of WHR’s campaign strategic tactics in pressuring government bodies.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Human Rights Law | Inequality and Stratification | Law and Gender | Politics and Social Change | Social Welfare Law | Social Work | Women's Studies


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