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A report by the United Nation states that there are 245 million widows, 115 million living in extreme poverty. Widows are often blamed for the death of their husbands, branded as witches in many areas of the world. In other parts of the world, widows are subjected to grieving and funeral degrading rites such as head shaving, harassments from male relatives of their deceased husbands, loss of freedom and social status. According to a report submitted to the CEDAN Committee by help Age in 2008, hundreds of elderly women, primarily widows are killed each year for practicing witchcrafts in Tanzania.

In many countries, male relatives of a widow’s deceased husband will chase her out of her house and seize her land, her possessions and sometimes even her children. Over 500 million children of widows worldwide are not only subject to kidnapping by their father’s relatives but are deprived of schooling, health care and proper nutrition because their mothers cannot afford to provide for them, continuing the cycle of poverty. According to the Global fund for widows’ report, 1.5 million of these children will die before their fifth birthday because their mothers cannot pay for health care. Extreme poverty also makes them prime targets for human trafficking and sexual slavery. Widowhood does not only rob their husbands, but has also robbed them of their status and health. Despite the hardship and humiliation already suffered by widows living in extreme poverty, Diabetes also pose a significant risk to the health of widows and their children in developing countries. 

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