The dream of a happily ever after, at times is cut short when death disturbs the bliss of marriage. According to the UN, “There are an estimated 258 million widows around the world, and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty.” For most of these families, the man is either the main or the only breadwinner leaving the families at the mercy of the world. For instance, in Congo, it is estimated that 50% of married women are widowed.
International Widow’s day has been celebrated since the year 2011 with the hope that the day will bring the opportunity for actions to achieve and recognize the full rights of widows. According to the UN, 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 on marital status alone; decent work and equal pay; and education and training opportunities. Empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing social stigmas that create exclusion, and discriminatory or harmful practices.”
So as we join the world in marking this year’s International Widows Day, let’s take steps towards the recognition of their rights and rebuilding their lives.