The family is regarded as the fundamental social and economic unit of society. Transformation at the family form, therefore, has impact at the aggregate level of a society or a nation. For instance, changes in family composition and structure have an impact on the distribution of goods and services, and on the planning of the public institutions, requirements for schools, housing and health infrastructure. In recent decades the new form of families emerged. Families headed by women have become more significant phenomenon worldwide in the 21st century. Studies have shown that, both in developing and developed countries, female headed families have different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as compared to the male headed families. Female headed families are most susceptible to poverty and other social problems because they have fewer income earners to provide financial support within the family. The nature of such problems is worse when it is the case of such Half-widow-headed families. Besides issues common to other female headed families, such families face various socio-economic and emotional uncertainties. Members of such families are deemed ineligible for pensions and other governmental relief and thus face severe economic hardship and other issues. Children of such families are often particularly traumatized, showing extreme resentment and loneliness, and are vulnerable to impoverishment and exploitation. Half-widow-headed families illustrate one of the starkest forms of the social and economic insecurity in Kashmir. Based on empirical analysis, the present study aims to identify and understand various socio-economic problems and concerns related to their survival and sustenance.
Keywords: Half Widows; Kashmir; Conflict; Peace