Widows is most countries are discriminated against, according to a study undertaken by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).
Basing its findings on the responses given by 17,595 people spread across 17 nations, and representing 59 percent of the world's population, the study included most of the largest countries in the world - China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Mexico, Britain, France, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Thailand and South Korea.
The margin of error ranged from +/-2 to 4 percent. The survey was fielded between January 10 and May 6.
According to the study, in six nations the dominant view was that there is at least some discrimination against widows. This included majorities in South Korea (81 percent), Turkey (70 percent), the Palestinian Territories (61 percent), Nigeria (58 [percent) and China (54 percent).
In India, 35 to 42 percent of the people surveyed agreed that widows were discriminated against.
In Mexico and Great Britain views are divided, with nearly half of those who answered saying that widows are often treated unfairly in their country.
Only two countries have a majority saying that there is no discrimination against women-Ukraine (53 percent) and Indonesia (54 percent). Five more countries have a majority saying there is little or no discrimination. French (71 percent), Russians (58 percent), Americans (58 percent), Azerbaijanis (55 percent) and Egyptians (53 percent) are relatively sanguine about the treatment of widows in their societies.
The treatment of divorced women was the worst in South Korea, Egypt, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iran and Azerbaijan.
In India, only 46 percent of those surveyed said that divorced women were treated badly.
Out of the 17 nations, only Ukraine said divorced women are not discriminated against at all.