translated from Spanish: Why is June 23 International Widows’ Day?

Every 23 June, the United Nations General Assembly commemorates International Widows’ Day. For 10 years this anniversary was created to make visible a problem that affects millions of women in the world. In fact, in developing countries with high levels of poverty, widowhood is surrounded by stigma, false beliefs, discrimination and abuses against women, directly affecting their human rights and the satisfaction of their basic needs to continue supporting their families. According to statistics, it is estimated that there are more than 285 million widows in the world, of whom more than 115 million live in extreme poverty. It is not only widows, but also their minor children who in most cases do not have socio-economic and family support. At the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, this day was recognized to raise awareness among humanity about these realities, highlighting the work of non-governmental organizations and non-profit foundations that work for the rights of widowed women. The United Nations agency provides information about the rights that women have after the spouse dies. This includes providing them with information on access to a fair share of their inheritance, land and productive resources; pensions and social protection that are not based solely on marital status; decent work and equal pay; and education and training opportunities. Empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing the social stigmas that create exclusion and discriminatory or harmful practices.

Original source in Spanish

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