International Widows Day – June 23rd
International Widows Day is observed on 23rd June to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they need. Widows face many challenges when it comes to finances, health, and safety.
It was in 23 June in 1954 Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, mother of the foundation’s founder, Lord Loomba, became a widow. The Loomba Foundation in 2005 established International Widows Day to highlight what it describes as an invisible calamity.
It was in 2011 the United Nations observe 23 June as first International Widows Day. The UN in 2010 passed a resolution A/RES/65/189 to recognize the day, to draw attention and gather support for widows around the globe. In India, it has helped thousands of women learn vocational skills such as sewing and tailoring to help them through the economic uncertainty of widowhood.
Death is unavoidable, foreseeable, inevitable. Yet, widowhood is one of the most shattering experiences that can ever happen to a woman. For many women around the world, the death of a spouse is magnified by many losses — of their social status, marital home, land, property, social security, dignity and, sometimes, their children. But men, on the other hand, lose none of their human rights while usually gaining support in starting a new chapter in his life.
Unfortunately, discriminatory and punitive behavior toward widows ostracizes them, forces many of them and their children into poverty and represents a form of gender-based violence that is unjust and unacceptable. This maltreatment is worsened by lack of awareness, resources and access to justice. This day is observed to develop resources and policies to empower widows and allow them to have access to education, work, healthcare and lives free of violence and abuse.
Widows in COVID-19
The pandemic has just worsened the situation during the past several months with a devastating human loss, and one that is likely leaving tens of thousands of women newly widowed at just the time when they are cut off from their usual socio-economic and family supports.
Things to Do on International Widows’ Day
On this day you may donate or volunteer for Widows and Orphans International. All funds are used to support Widows which are donated by the people. Interested people can choose various options to help widows.
There are lots of opportunities in countries such as Kenya that allow volunteers to help widows and orphans get their lives back on track.
To get out from stress you can watch which is based on life of a widow. Some suggestions are: Water (2005), Black Widow (1987), and Passionada (2002).
If you fond of reading book then you may read the inspiring books about the lives and struggles of widows. You can select The Amish Widow’s Secret, A Widow’s Story, and The Writings and Later Wisdom Books.
Use the hashtags #InternationalWidowsDay, #IWD and #WidowsDay on social media to help spread awareness of the holiday.
You may also visit the old age or retirement home. Retirement homes are often home to many widows who receive no visits and little interaction with people outside of the homes.
On this International Widows Day, let us strengthen communities, value families and rebuild societies that support widows in all their diversity.
Suggested Read: Important Days In June