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International Widows Day 2020: June 23 

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International-Widows-Day-2020-June-23United Nations(UN) International Widows Day is observed annually on June 23 to raise awareness about the human rights violation experienced by widows in many countries following the death of their spouses.

Aim of the day

  • To address the issues like poverty & injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries.
  • To help regain their rights, which have long been ignored and violated.


i.The day was initiated by Loomba Foundation, an Non-Governmental Organization(NGO), London on 26 May 2005.

ii.The foundation has led a 5 year long global campaign for UN recognition. The UN in 2010 passed a resolution A/RES/65/189 to recognise the day.

iii.1st International Widows Day was observed in 2011.

Significance of the day

i.The day is observed to develop resources and policies  to empower widows and allow them to have access to education, work, healthcare and lives free of violence and abuse.

ii.These will help them to create a life for them and their children and also will end the cycle of poverty & abuse.

Widows in COVID-19

The pandemic has given rise to 10,000 new widows. Due to the lockdowns & economic closures because of COVID-19, widows may not have access to bank accounts and pensions to support themselves and their children. 

Facts about Widows around the world

  • There are around 258 million widows in the world, out of which nearly 1 in 10 live in extreme poverty.
  • Widows are forced to take part in harmful, degrading and life-threatening traditional practices as part of burial and mourning rituals of their spouse.
  • The problems faced by widows in developing countries are as follows: Poverty, Violence, Health, Conflict-related situations

About UN:
Headquarters– New York, United States
Secretary general– António Guterres