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Pulitzer Center Update January 24, 2017

This Week: Widowhood in Africa, Asia and Europe


Media: Author:
Unwanted and Unprotected: Widows in India

When grief is compounded by cruelty: Societies of widows, battling the stigma of exclusion and the...

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Multiple Authors
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In a shelter in Vrindavan, known as a “city of widows,” Lalita (at right) bears the cropped hair and white wrap her culture once considered obligatory for widowhood. Shelter manager Ranjana, a much younger widow, is less constrained by traditional customs. Image by Amy Toensing. India, 2016.

What Happens When Your Husband Dies
Cynthia Gorney, Amy Toensing, Kathryn Carlson

Beyond the sorrow of loss, the death of a husband can bring a special torment to women. "In many cultures, widows are so vulnerable—to abusive tradition, to poverty, to the aftermath of wars that killed their husbands—that widowhood itself must be regarded as a potential human rights calamity," writes grantee Cynthia Gorney. In their ground-breaking story for National Geographic, Cynthia and photojournalist Amy Toensing travel to South Asia, Africa and Europe to document the indignities that different societies inflict upon women who lose their husbands. If you are an educator, click here for a lesson plan designed by the Pulitzer Center education team.

The Long Road in Afghanistan
May Jeong

How to negotiate with a dead man? In a deeply reported feature for Harper's, grantee May Jeong gives readers an extraordinary inside look at the improbable and untidy cast of characters struggling to bring peace to Afghanistan.

The Gruesome Body Count in the Philippines
James Fenton

Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines since June, has sanctioned the extrajudicial murders of nearly 6,000 alleged drug deals and users. As grantee James Fenton reports, the brutal tactic seems to have solidified support for the populist leader.

Editor's note 1/24/2016: Our January 24 newsletter incorrectly stated that the Widowhood story was a cover story. It was listed on the cover but it was not the cover story. The correction has been made in this post.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality