Is There Such A Thing As A Half-Widow?

There is a large population of women in Kashmir who are called half-widows because they don’t know if their husbands are alive or dead. The husbands disappeared after being picked up by Indian security forces on suspicion of fighting New Delhi’s rule in Kashmir. Many of the women are now heads of low-income, Muslim families and continue on even though their marital status is in limbo. A court order prevents them from remarrying until their husbands have been missing for seven years. But many half-widows want to continue waiting for their husbands because they don’t think another man will provide for their children. Without proof of the husbands’ death, half-widows can’t claim government compensation nor the property of their husbands. Indian authorities, who put the number of missing husbands at 1,000 to 3,000, say they have plans to provide to relief to these women. [Reuters]