Widowed men dating
In parts of Africa, such as Kenya, widows are viewed as impure and need to be 'cleansed'. Those refusing to be cleansed risk getting beaten by superstitious villagers, who may also harm the woman's children.
More recently, widows of political figures have been among the first women elected to high office in many countries, such as Corazón Aquino or Isabel Martínez de Perón.
As of 2004, women in United States who were "widowed at younger ages are at greatest risk for economic hardship." Similarly, married women who are in a financially unstable household are more likely to become widows "because of the strong relationship between mortality [of the male head] and wealth [of the household]." In underdeveloped and developing areas of the world, conditions for widows continue to be much more severe.
However, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ("now ratified by 135 countries"), while slow, is working on proposals which will make certain types of discrimination and treatment of widows (such as violence and withholding property rights) illegal in the countries that have joined CEDAW.
The tendency for women generally to outlive men can compound this, as can men in many societies marrying women younger than themselves.
In some patriarchal societies, widows may maintain economic independence.