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Investigating enforced disappearances in Kashmir

We are travelling to Kashmir to investigate the phenomenon of enforced disappearances of men by insurgent groups and the Indian army in the wake of Kashmir’s fight for independence.

We are particularly interested in examining the effect of these disappearances on the wives of these men, also known as ‘half-widows’. These half-widows live in the labyrinth of politics and law, their lives in a state of limbo, not knowing what had really happened to their husbands.

Where domestic remedies have failed and little can be done to uncover what happened to these men who have disappeared, whether they have been killed or are still alive, there is little in terms of justice that can be done for the women they left behind.

We are asking these women: what does justice mean to you now?

Left behind as breadwinners of the family, these women are finding ways to make a living.

To assist them, we are mapping out what government financial assistance, medical relief and literacy programs they could apply for. We have used comic strips to illustrate words for women who cannot read. We are also developing a user-friendly eligibility checklist for civil society to check if the half widows are eligible for any of the programs.

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