Inherit Your Rights was founded in 2011 to help widows denied access to property and inheritance after the death of their husbands.
In rural Tanzania, widows are extremely vulnerable to abuse. Under customary law, when a man dies, his wife inherits nothing, unless she is childless and there are no other living relatives. The man’s children are his rightful heirs. However, if the children are too young to assert their rights, the man’s family often takes advantage of the situation, and expels the widow and her children from the family land. Alone and without the means of supporting themselves or their children, these women require urgent legal representation and practical assistance.
Inherit Your Rights now also works with wider women’s groups and other community groups, such as church Pastors and community leaders, to provide training and support on women's rights. By educating, empowering and representing whole communities on the issues faced by women and girls in the Arusha region of Tanzania, we believe we can stop the cycle of injustice. Your support can help us reach more communities and share valuable knowledge to advance the rights of women. Through knowledge, we empower.
Inherit Your Rights was founded in 2011 by two lawyers, Jana Hardy and Katie Windridge. After learning of the plight of widows in Tanzania, they were determined to educate, empower and represent women to fight against this.
Our educational programs began in March 2013, when the Inherit Your Rights legal team started to deliver human rights lectures to widow groups in the region. Over the course of that year, Inherit Your Rights visited and delivered training to seven rural Maasai villages, reaching over 300 widows. Widows across the Arusha region and beyond began hearing about their rights to equality, inheritance, property and most importantly how to defend those rights. Encouragingly, other women, not just widows, began attending these lectures, keen to learn of their rights and how to protect them. We also began to engage with other members of society - church Pastors, community leaders, school children and teachers.
The program has evolved to now provide the opportunity for training participants to become community paralegals by completing our 16-subject legal curriculum, thereby further advocating for women's rights in their community. Our educational program also now includes a curriculum specially tailored for school-age children, which we deliver in schools around the Arusha region.
Through education, representation and empowerment, we believe women and girls can be a powerful and pivotal force for positive and systemic societal change.