International Widows' Day is observed across the world on 23 June. The day aims to gather support for widows and to spread awareness about their situation. For several women, the hurtful loss of a partner is magnified by a long-term struggle for their basic rights and dignity.
It is estimated that there are nearly 258 million widows around the world. Practically one in every ten widows live in extreme poverty, as per the United Nations.
Some of the main issues that affect the widows globally are poverty, violence, conflict-related situations and inheritance issues. So to combat these issues and safeguard the rights of widows, certain programmes and policies need to be introduced. The UN has already made strides in this field with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
History and Significance:
In the year 2010, the United Nations acknowledged 23 June as International Widows' Day. The global body mainly focused on highlighting the experiences of widows and the assistance they require. According to the UN, the day is a call for action for achieving full rights and recognition for widows. This special day plays an important in strengthening the voices of widows, who face discrimination and hardships in every corner of the globe.
- 'Widow’ is a word I never thought would describe me, but I had to learn to deal with that - Eve Arden, American film actress
- Human rights are for everyone and not contingent on marital status. For many widows, losing their husband also means losing rights, income, and possibly their children- Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- I am a woman above everything else - Jacqueline Kennedy, former first lady of the United States
- Social security is based on a principle. It's based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat - Noam Chomsky, American linguist