Getting married is one of the most cherished dreams of every woman, but when a woman loses her husband, her whole life is filled with despair and never-ending darkness. The loss of a life partner is devastating and having to live life without your partner is even harder. For women all over the world, the loss is even bigger as they have to struggle for their basic rights, needs and dignity. In such a situation, every year on June 23, International Widows Day is celebrated globally to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they have.
Every year on June 23, special programs are organized with the help of United Nations to spread awareness about the problems of women who have lost their husband. This day is celebrated to raise voice against social injustice towards widowed women as well as aims to address poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries.
When was International Widows’ Day began?
In order to make aware of the situation of widowed women of all ages, regions and cultures and to give them special recognition, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted June 23 as International Widows’ Day on December 21, 2010, and it began to observe it from 2011. But the day had been established before then by The Loomba Foundation in memory of Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, who became a widow in 1954.
Why should International Widows’ Day be celebrated?
Even though the world is moving fast in the path of development, but even today the injustice towards widows and their children is one of the most serious violations of human rights and one of the biggest obstacles in development. The situation is that millions of widows of the world are still facing poverty, social exclusion, violence, discrimination related to health and law.
According to an estimate, about 115 million widows are forced to live in poverty and about 81 million widow women face physical abuse. According to statistics, around 40 million widowed women live in India, out of which 15,000 widows live alone on the streets of Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.
International Widows’ Day is important because it spreads awareness about the challenges widows face worldwide. It helps in finding ways to support those widows as part of our social responsibilities. This day helps the activists to urge policymakers to make policies in favor of widows community.
Significance of International Widows’ Day
International Widow Day is very different from other international days celebrated globally, as it provides an opportunity to help widows get their right to social freedom. This day makes women aware of their rights and provides information about their heritage, land, productive resources, pension, equal pay, education and training opportunities.
Significantly, this day provides a golden opportunity to empower widows so that they can live their lives with dignity. Apart from this, it also gives an opportunity to raise voice against social exclusion, discrimination and social evils against widow women.