Beneficiaries: Widows worldwide but mainly in the global south and especially in conflict affected countries. WPDs stated objectives are to :
Promote the equality of women, in particular widows, where they suffer discrimination through law or practice - by providing information, advocacy and support services to promote their rights and entitlements as equal citizens.
In addition our vision is to support and promote federations of widows associations especially in countries where widowhood is an issue, particularly in areas affected by conflict. WPD provides support to these associations to ensure that the voices of widows are heard by their governments, so that every widow is protected by law from discrimination, violence and abuse and can enjoy her full human rights.
WPDs services: Advocacy and lobbying at both the national and international levels, research to provide facts i.e numbers issues etc. to governments, international organizations including the United Nations and other organs such the Security Council.
Supports the organization of local widows association and organization to provide a collective voice when presenting researched facts and figures to influence policy and legislation that is beneficial to widows.
Establishes and supports the establishment of networks of widows associations and provide them a global platform to present their issues.
Lobbies for a change in the thinking and definition of who is a widow. Historically, widows have been perceived to be elderly women but due to conflict and poverty there are now many girl-widows.
Widows often do not have any one to advocate for them at the global and international level. Thus WPD seeks to fill that gap by providing an advocacy and lobbying platform for widows in the global south and especially in conflict affected countries.
WPD provides training on how to research and present facts and figures on issues affecting widows.
Advocates for widows rights. Is the umbrella organization for many widow organizations in developing and especially conflict affected countries. WPD lobbies to draw attention of governments to human rights violations against widows in many countries to get them to eliminate discrimination and violations using all available means including amending and developing appropriate legislation as well as eliminating discrimination, abuse and violence against widows. The WPD has a charter which can be found on our website listed above. The charter is a lobbying document. WPD hosts events at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW) and works very closely with the United Nations Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW). In addition, WPD works closely with the UK government since it is headquartered in London.
To meet its objectives, WPD supports widows to band together in order to have a collective voice and break the collusion of silence about their plight. They are supported to form their own organizations and associations and as a collective they can better articulate their needs and describe the crucial needs of their families, collectives and communities that need support.
WPD is regarded by UN Women as the lead organization representing this very neglected gender and human rights issue which really should be now defined as a development issue. In its lifetime and work, WPD has through various local widows collectives, been responsible for collecting research on numbers of widows, types of widows and their various needs and have organised panel discussions at the CEDAW and the UN where widows have been invited from around the world to present their views and issues and the work in which they are involved in their local contexts to ameliorate their situations.
In addition to conflict, widows of all ages are increasing due to revolution, HIV and AIDS as well as harmful traditional practices. A key driver of widowhood is taking girls out of school and either giving or selling them into early marriage. Widows of all ages endure extreme poverty on the deaths of their husbands, Often they have no rights to inheritance, land, custody of children can be treated like chattels that are inherited by their kin/family group depending on whether it is a patrilineal or matrilineal society. Further information on WPD and its activities can be had from the website.