Widows and their children are largely hidden from view in the data used to inform social policy discussions in Africa. Data for Mali reveal that households headed by widows have significantly lower living standards than other households in rural and urban areas. Furthermore, the welfare difference persists even after widows are absorbed into male headed households. An examination of individual measures of well-being further reveals that, relative to other women, worse outcomes for ever-widowed women persist through remarriage. These detrimental effects are passed on to children, suggesting an intergenerational transmission of poverty stemming from widowhood.