The United Nations (UN)’s International Widows Day is annually observed across the world on 23rd June 2023 to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to provide the unique support they need.
- The day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by widows all over the world and the need to address their unique social, economic and legal issues.
The day is an opportunity for action towards achieving full rights and recognition for widows. This includes information on access to a fair share of their inheritance, land and productive resources; pensions and social protection that are not based on marital status alone; decent work and equal pay; and education and training opportunities.
i. On 21st December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/65/189 and proclaimed the 23rd June of every year as International Widows’ Day.
ii. The first-ever International Widows’ Day was observed on 23rd June 2011.
i. The establishment of International Widows Day was carried out by the efforts of various organisations, including the Loomba Foundation, an international charity that advocates for the rights of widows.
ii. The foundation, led by Raj Loomba, worked endlessly to bring attention to the challenges faced by widows and campaigned for a designated day to raise awareness and promote action.
iii. The Loomba Foundation established this day to commemorate the day on which Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, mother of Raj Lommba became a widow (23 June 1954).
iv. The first International Widows Day by the Loomba Foundation was observed on 23rd June 2005 in London, the United Kingdom (UK).
i. It is estimated that nearly one in ten widows worldwide lives in extreme poverty.
ii. At least 1.36 million of the approximately 258 million widows globally are child widows.
iii. A huge number of women are widowed due to armed conflict, it is reported that in some parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, around 50% of women are widows, while there are an estimated 3 million widows in Iraq and over 70,000 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
iv. Particularly across Africa and Asia, widows are subjected to physical and mental violence.
About United Nations (UN):
Founded in– 1945
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America (USA)