Health and Rights among Widows in Nepal
Principal Investigator: Pamela Surkan
Description: Since 2011 we have partnered with a Nepali NGO, Women for Human Rights, a single women group (WHR). Widows represent a marginalized subgroup in Nepali society, and suffer extensive discrimination. Using a human rights framework, we are documenting the effects of widows’ experiences on their physical and mental health, with the aim of informing programs and advocacy efforts. Qualitative research with widows identified significant barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care, concealment of status to protect children, extensive violence victimization, and challenges in legal entitlements, all often stemming from the confluence of limited empowerment, low education, bureaucracy, a patriarchal society and lack of support from family members.
Corresponding Published Manuscripts:
- Haviland M, Shrestha A, Decker MR, Kohrt B, Kafle HM, Lohani S, Thapa L, Surkan PJ. Barriers to sexual and reproductive health care among widows in Nepal. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2014; 125: 129-133.
- Surkan PJ, Broaddus E, Shrestha A, Thapa L. Non-disclosure of widowhood in Nepal: Implications for women and children. Global Public Health 2015;10(3):379-90.S
- Sabri B, Saberwal S, Decker MR, Shrestra A, Sharma K, Thapa L, Surkan PJ. Violence against widows in Nepal: Experiences, coping behaviors and barriers to seeking help. Journal of Interpersonal Violence (in press, epub ahead of print).
- Poon PG, Houston K, Shrestha A, Rayamajhi R, Thapa L, Surkan PJ. Nepali widows’ access to legal entitlements: a human rights issue. Human Rights Quarterly (in press).