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 our traditional societies, women often find themselves left in poverty when their husband dies. In some instances, 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 The children of widows also often find themselves affected, withdrawn from school and more vulnerable to abuse, especially in the case of girls.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 today’s celebration is to inform awareness 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.
On this note, we call on our respective local and state legislatures, executives and judiciaries to enact, execute and interpret legislations that will guarantee a future assured for widows in our society.
The theme “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems” denotes their unseen challenges and neglect they suffer from the society.
On this year occasion of International Widows Day, we wish every widows in our society to remain steadfast, resilient and hopeful. There is an eventual emergence of a glorious morning after the temporary darkness.
Happy International Widows Day!
Engr. Wuraola Atinuke Owolabi,
Touch Of Love & Lifting Hands Foundation®️