International Widows Day: Recognizing Challenges and Urging for Change
International Widows Day: Recognizing Challenges and Urging for Change

International Widows Day, observed annually on June 23rd, is a global initiative ratified by the United Nations to address the poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents worldwide.

Established by The Loomba Foundation, the day holds significant historical relevance. It commemorates June 23rd, 1954, the day Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, mother of Lord Loomba, the foundation’s founder, became a widow. The foundation aims to shed light on what it terms an invisible calamity affecting widows globally.

According to the foundation’s efforts, highlighted in the book "Invisible, Forgotten Sufferers: The Plight of Widows Around the World," approximately 245 million widows exist worldwide. Shockingly, 115 million of these widows live in poverty, facing social stigma and economic deprivation solely due to the loss of their husbands. In 2010, the foundation presented this study to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, underscoring the urgent need for awareness and action.

The inaugural International Widows Day occurred in 2005, spearheaded by Lord Loomba and the foundation’s president, Cherie Blair. By 2010, events marking the day were held across various countries, including Rwanda, Sri Lanka, the United States, the UK, Nepal, Syria, Kenya, India, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

The United Nations officially recognized International Widows Day on December 21st, 2010. The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the day, following a proposal by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. The resolution not only designated June 23rd as a day of observance but also urged member states and international organizations to prioritize the plight of widows and their children.

International Widows Day, observed on June 23rd each year, is a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by millions of widows worldwide. It serves as a platform to raise awareness about the economic and social hardships widows endure, often exacerbated by stigma and discrimination. This day encourages global solidarity and action to empower widows and ensure their rights are upheld. Here are 10 quotes that reflect the significance of International Widows Day:

  1. "The loss of a spouse can be devastating. On International Widows Day, let us remember and support those who carry on with strength and resilience." - Unknown
  2. "Widows are not just women who have lost their husbands; they are survivors who continue to inspire us with their courage." - Unknown
  3. "Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she survived." - Louise Erdrich
  4. "Empower widows, empower humanity." - United Nations
  5. "Widows should be protected, respected, and empowered." - Nelson Mandela
  6. "Behind every successful man, there's a strong woman. Behind every widow, there's an even stronger one." - Unknown
  7. "The best way to honor the memory of those we have lost is to ensure their loved ones are cared for and supported." - Unknown
  8. "Widows are the silent sufferers who deserve our recognition and support." - Unknown
  9. "Let us stand together to break the cycle of poverty and marginalization that widows face." - Unknown
  10. "The measure of a society is how it treats its widows and orphans." - Mahatma Gandhi

As we observe International Widows Day, the global community reaffirms its commitment to supporting widows, advocating for their rights, and working towards a world where widows are not marginalized but empowered to live with dignity and equality.

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