International Widows Day 2024: Date, History, Theme, why celebrate, NGOs work etc.

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International Widows Day 2024 is celebrated to tell about all the hardships and problems widows face. Have you ever thought about what would happen to a widow if her husband who supported her was not in this world? What would people think about her? What does society think and say about a woman who herself is going through this trauma? There must be a thousand-plus women who must have endured so many things such as bullying, injustice, and discrimination just because they are widows.

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What is International Widows Day 2024?

International Widows Day is celebrated every year on  23rd June to create awareness among individuals about the difficulties and tribulations faced by widows, including social pressure, being forced into rituals, discrimination in child custody rights, and mental or physical torture. This day is celebrated to allow people to understand that widows are part of society, and we should treat them equally and give them the necessary support. This day also tells us that the community should support the widows emotionally or psychologically.

Losing a spouse is a big deal for all women, as no one would want this tragedy to happen, and it goes far beyond when their basic human rights are denied and there is a risk of poverty. Many widows in the world don’t know about their rights or policies implemented in their favor, so they can be influenced or deceived by anyone. Understanding their rights will allow them to defend themselves and others in the same situation. This day will help such widows to educate and empower them by promoting education and vocational training to them so that they can also live peacefully without any prejudice. 

History of International Widows Day 2024

The concept of International Widows Day came from Raj Loomba, a British Indian businessman. His mother became a widow at the age of 37 when his father died on 23 June 1954. In 1977, Raj Loomba opened his foundation in the name of Loomba Foundation, whose main motive is to support widows and their children. On 23rd June 2005, a lot of events took place in London and New York because on this day the first International Widows Day was celebrated, which drew the attention of millions of widows and their children who are struggling with difficulties. In 2006, the Loomba Foundation made a five-year plan that attracted the attention of the United Nations General Assembly.

On December 21, 2010, the Loomba Foundation’s plan succeeded, and the United Nations adopted resolution 65/189 declaring June 23 as International Widows Day. The first official International Widows Day was observed on 23rd June 2011, the motive being to highlight the problems of widows and support them.

What is the theme of International Widows Day 2024?

This year, the theme of International Widows Day is ‘Accelerating the Achievement of Gender Equality’, which signifies:-

  1.  There should be no prejudicial attitude towards widows, as they are entitled to equal opportunities, similarly to those who have a spouse.
  2. This theme aims to promote respect and dignity towards widows, thereby preventing them from being discriminated against or subjected to social stigma in any community or society. However, it aims to provide them with moral support and a sense of inclusivity.
  3. The window faces a lot of legal and financial hardships like being denied her rights or ownership of property. This theme shows that laws should be made in favor of widows so that they do not face any legal issues, and they should get employment opportunities so that they can be financially stable.

How to Celebrate International Widows Day?

The act of celebrating International Widows Day calls for raising awareness about the occasion, providing support to widows, and refraining from discriminating against them on any basis. Below are some points that will provide an overview of the celebration:-

1. Organize Public Awareness Events

Conducting webinars, events, and seminars in which what challenges are faced by the widows, their rights, or law enforcement are brought up, what dilemmas they face, and how we can help them. With the help of social media platforms, you can promote campaigns, do live streams, add hashtags, and add videos, posts, or stories.

2. Community Support Initiatives

To help those widows who are suffering psychologically or emotionally and to take part in the community especially for widows, to support them, to listen to their stories, and to encourage them for their future and their children’s.

3. Academic Gains

Provide financial benefits such as scholarships to widows and their children keen to educate themselves to become independent or self-sufficient and to volunteer, or support the literacy program. This is so that single women who want to pursue their education can do so. 

4. Health and Wellness

To provide mental health resources and support to widows so that they can be emotionally stable and run campaigns, including free medical checks and health advice for their well-being.

What are the roles of an NGO in Widows?

1. Legislation and Policy Amendments

NGOs influence policy changes so that some laws are passed for the benefit of widows, and they get respect and dignity. Campaigns are run for this, or social media is used to help them.

2. Psychological Counselling and Emotional Support:

The NGO also provides counselling services to those widows who are taking a lot of time to recover from trauma or grief for their husbands and who are not emotionally stable.

3. Financial support

The NGO also provides financial assistance including microloans and grants to help widows become financially stable so they can open their businesses.

4. Connections and Networking

The NGO collaborates with other NGOs, government authorities, and community groups so that the reach becomes wider and awareness spreads far. We also share resources and information about which laws have been implemented so that widows can stay informed.

Examples of NGO Involvement in International Widows Day

  • The Loomba Foundation: This foundation was a key player in the creation of International Widows Day. It continues to play a vital role in raising awareness and supporting widows through various initiatives, including education and economic empowerment programs​​.
  • Widows Rights International (WRI): WRI works across Africa and Asia to strengthen and protect the rights of widows, advocating for policy changes and providing support services.
  • Global Fund for Widows: This organization focuses on empowering widows economically through microfinance, vocational training, and advocacy efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is International Widows Day is celebrated?

Widows Day is celebrated on every year of 23rd June

Who initatied the concept of International Widows Day?

The concept of International Widows Day first came to Raj Loomba, a Indian British businessman when his mother become widowed at the age of 37

What is the Theme of International Widows Day?

The theme of International Widows Day was to ‘Accelerating the Achievement of Gender Equality which sates that there should be equal opportunities and no space for disriminatioan

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Manya Bhatia

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