On International Women’s Day we share a story of resilience, strength, and courage of a woman whose world was pulled apart in just one night.
Zainab Bibi from the Muzaffargarh district in Pakistan, a widowed woman with eight children had a good life with her husband before he died. They owned a home and a store with her husband earning a decent living for them.
Following the death of my husband, his parents and brothers loaded into the house and shop and took all we had. Just like that, we became homeless. I was left widowed with eight children – five boys and three girls all under the age of eighteen with nowhere to live. It only took one night and suddenly we were completely vulnerable, we stayed with one of our relatives without food for days.
One day I went to a community meeting at my neighbour’s invitation, and it was the turning point of my life. The meeting was about the inheritance rights of women and children. After the meeting, the organisers distributed booklets which I took home. My eldest son could read and write and was able to tell me that according to these booklets we had a legal right to my husband’s house and shop.