International Widows Day 2023: A Day to Promote Human Rights of Widows

Every year June 23 is observed as International Widows Day by countries all over the globe. The day was initially established by The Loomba Foundation to raise awareness of the issue faced by widows. It was later adopted by the United Nations and observed as a day of action to address the “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries”. This article provides important details about International Widows Day 2023 such as its significance, history, theme, celebration, and more.

International Widows Day 2023 Overview

EventInternational Widows Day 2023
DateJune 23, 2023
Declared byThe Loomba Foundation
Observed byWorldwide
Purpose of celebrationTo raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows face after the death of their spouses.

International Widows Day 2023 Date

Below mentioned are the upcoming dates for International Widows Day in the years 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2027:

International Widows Day 2023June 23, 2023Friday
International Widows Day 2024June 23, 2024Sunday
International Widows Day 2025June 23, 2025Monday
International Widows Day 2026June 23, 2026Tuesday
International Widows Day 2027June 23, 2027Wednesday

Significance of International Widows Day

The loss of a partner is already devastating enough for a woman which is further magnified by the loss of their basic human rights. Although there are over 250 million widows all around the world, they are often left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies.  The need to take an action for identifying full rights and recognition for widows is now more than ever. The rights of a widow include pensions and social protection that are not based on marital status alone, education and training opportunities, information on access to a fair share of their inheritance, land and productive resources, and decent work and equal pay.

To highlight the urgent need for recognition of widow’s human rights, International Widows Day is observed every year on June 23. In addition to this, the day is also about empowering widows to support themselves and their families and addresses the social stigmas that create exclusion, and discriminatory or harmful practices against the widows.

History of International Widows Day

International Widows Day was established by the founder of The Loomba Foundation, Lord Loomba, and the foundation’s president, Cherie Blair in 2005. June 23 was chosen as the day of observation as it was on that day in 1954 that the mother of the foundation’s founder, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, became a widow. The celebration of International Widow’s Day spread quickly to different parts of the world and by 2010 many major countries were already observing the day.

A proposal was passed in the United Nations General Assembly by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon to recognize International Widows’ Day. Finally on 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted resolution A/RES/65/189 and established 23 June as International Widows Day. The resolution called upon “Member States, the United Nations system, and other international and regional organizations to give special attention to the situation of widows and their children.”

The Loomba Foundation

The Loomba Foundation is a non-profit, UN-accredited, international NGO founded to help widows and their children regardless of race, gender, or religion. The organization was established by Raj Loomba, the son of widow Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba who lost her husband at the age of 37 years and raised her seven children on her own. Shrimati Loomba died in 1992 and five years after her death, Lord Loomba established the foundation in 1997.

Check other important Days in June

Celebration of International Widows Day

On the occasion of International Widows day, governments all over the world are urged to take action to uphold their commitments to ensure the rights of widows. Different programs and policies to end violence against widows and their children, poverty alleviation, education, and other support to widows of all ages are launched on this day. The best way through which an individual can celebrate International Widows Day is by spreading awareness about the injustice and struggles faced by widows across the world. One can also make donations to charities or sponsor a widow financially and emotionally.

International Widows Day Theme 2023

The celebration of International Widows’ Day is carried out according to a theme decided every year. For the year 2023, the theme is ‘Innovation and technology for gender equality’. You can also check the theme of the past 3 years’ celebrations here in the table below.

2022Sustainable Solutions for Widows’ Financial Independence
2021Invisible Women, Invisible Problems
2020‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights

Frequently Asked Questions

When do we celebrate International Widows Day?

June 23 every year

What are the major problems faced by widows in developing countries?

Poverty, violence, health, and conflict-related situations are some of the major problems faced by widows in developing countries.

Which country has the most number of widows?

Together China and India account for 35.2 percent of the total number of widows in the world (2015 report).

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