Widows in CAR: 'I was kicked out of our house by his parents'

Photo from The Guardian. In Central African Republic, war exacts a toll on the rights of widows.
From left: Sylvie Gina Ndoguedia, Marie NoƩlla Sambelle and Esthelle Mazou walk along a dirt road in Sibut.
Photograph: Will Baxter

For many widows in the Central African Republic, the tragic loss of a husband can lead to dispossession of the marital home and property to their late husband’s family. As this article in The Guardian notes, illiteracy, a dysfunctional justice system, and a lack of awareness of their rights often prevent widows from seeking redress. ABA ROLI legal aid clinics, and the community-based paralegals and attorneys who work in them, seek to address these rights violations by providing family and community mediation to resolve disputes, by raising awareness within the communities on women’s rights, and when necessary by bringing legal action in the Central African courts.