For men and women across Africa, marriage is nearly universal. However, the duration of marriage is far from equal. Large age gaps and lower rates of remarriage after divorce and widowhood mean that women’s married lives are much shorter. One in ten African women above the age of 14 is a widow, and six percent are divorcees. In this talk Lead Economist Dominique van de Walle explored the evidence we have so far on the impact of these marital shocks on women, and the policy measures that could help women deal with the economic hardship that often ensues.