“You Will Get Nothing”
Violations of Property and Inheritance Rights of Widows in Zimbabwe done by the Human Rights Watch
Widows in Zimbabwe often lose their homes, land, and property to opportunistic relatives. Some of these relatives believe that widows have no right to these assets and take advantage of widows’ grief and changed marital status to grab what they can. Some of these widows have been able to find support from legal service providers to pursue justice through the courts. Many more, for various reasons, including social and geographic isolation and poverty, are not able to mount such a legal challenge.
“You Will Get Nothing,” based on research and interviews conducted with widows throughout Zimbabwe, documents the harmful impacts of property grabbing and how widows rarely have access to justice. The report also highlights the Zimbabwe government’s domestic, regional, and international legal obligations to widows’ rights. The report, part of a new initiative by Human Rights Watch to document abuses against older people and advocate for better protections of their rights, found that older widows, many of whom have faced cumulative disadvantages related to discrimination over many years, are even more impacted by abuses related to property grabbing in Zimbabwe. Human Rights Watch calls on the government of Zimbabwe to develop a legal and policy framework that protects the property and other rights of widows .