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Justice, Spirituality & Education Journal

Authors

Cara Salazar

Abstract

Widows and their children constitute a population of more than 845 million worldwide. However, the mistreatment of widows in many cultures and countries is one of the most neglected gender and human rights issues, affecting not only the widow but also her children. The most severe conditions are found in Africa, where widows are greatly challenged by patrilinealism, disease, lack of education, stigma, property grabbing, and lack of economic opportunity. Home to nearly 25% of the world’s Christians, Africa struggles to address the revolutionary changes needed to model the biblical treatment of widows. This paper aims to provide a clear picture of the realities of widowhood taking place on our second-largest continent, outline key issues facing widows, and provide solutions using the biblical widows of Zarephath and Nain to highlight ways we can model compassion and take action for African widows today.

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