Dating a widowed man with children
This custom, called sati, was outlawed in 1827 in British India and again in 1987 in independent India by the Sati Prevention Act, which made it illegal to support, glorify or attempt to commit sati.Support of sati, including coercing or forcing someone to commit sati, can be punished by death sentence or life imprisonment, while glorifying sati is punishable with one to seven years in prison.In societies where the husband is the sole provider, his death can leave his family destitute.
The Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856, enacted in response to the campaign of the reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, But now, these customs are disappearing.This negatively impacts the mental as well as physical well being in both men and women (Utz, Reidy, Carr, Nesse, & Wortman, 2004 as Cited in Mumtaz 71).In parts of Africa, such as Kenya, widows are viewed as impure and need to be 'cleansed'. Those refusing to be cleansed risk getting beaten by superstitious villagers, who may also harm the woman's children.In some patriarchal societies, widows may maintain economic independence.A woman would carry on her spouse's business and be accorded certain rights, such as entering guilds.
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However, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ("now ratified by 135 countries"), while slow, is working on proposals which will make certain types of discrimination and treatment of widows (such as violence and withholding property rights) illegal in the countries that have joined CEDAW.