Today is International Widows Day. "Often left without savings or any other income support, widows have been especially exposed to the sudden loss of employment during the pandemic, creating immediate and acute financial vulnerability, with serious consequences that range from food insecurity to increased susceptibility to human trafficking," Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women said on International Widows Day. The day is aimed at showing solidarity with women who have lost their partners. In a bid to empower women and safeguard the rights of widows, the UN General Assembly, on December 21, 2010, adopted a resolution and declared June 23 as International Widows Day.
Theme of 2021 International Widows Day: Invisible Women, Invisible Problems
Millions of widows across the world battle four critical issues of poverty, violence, health and conflict-related situations. According to the UN , "Despite the fact that there are more than 258 million widows around the world, widows have historically been left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies." The COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly devastating for many women who have lost their partners and are struggling to take care of children and even elderly parents. According to experts, the social and economic issues faced by widows must be brought to the forefront and their voices heard.
International Widows Day: Quotes to share
- 'I am a woman above everything else" - Jackie Kennedy
- "Social Security is based on a principle. It's based on the principle that you care about other people. You care whether the widow across town, a disabled widow, is going to be able to have food to eat" - Noam Chomsky
- Widow' is a word I never thought would describe me, but I had to learn to deal with that" - Eve Arden
- "Human rights are for everyone and not contingent on marital status. For many widows, losing their husband also means losing rights, income, and possibly their children. On International Widows Day, let's commit to providing widows with access to legal and social protections" : Antonio Guterres
International Widows Day: Why the voices of widows must be heard
- Single parent families are particularly vulnerable to poverty and psychological trauma.
- After the death of a partner, widows often face stigma and discrimination even today.
- Widows are often denied inheritance rights.
- Women are much less likely to have access to old age pensions than men, according to the UN.
- Amid the Covid-forced lockdowns and job losses scores of widows have to struggle to pay for for healthcare and support themselves and their children.