International Widows Day is a global awareness day that takes place annually on 23rd June. The day was launched by the United Nations in 2010 to raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows suffer in many countries following the death of their spouses.
In many countries with traditional societies, women find themselves left in poverty when their husband dies. In some countries, these women find themselves denied of inheritance and land rights, evicted from their homes, ostracised and abused. The children of widows also often find themselves affected, withdrawn from school and more vulnerable to abuse, especially in the case of girls.
International Widows Day works to encourage action in achieving full rights for widows, highlighting the need for more research and statistics into violence, discrimination and poverty suffered by widows and develop policies and programmes to address the problem.
The ultimate goal of the day is to develop resources and policy to empower widows and allow them to have access to education, work, healthcare and lives free of violence and abuse. Enabling them to create a life for themselves and their children following the death of their husband and ending a cycle of poverty and abuse.
Further details about International Widows Day can be found at www.un.org