International Widows’ Day

Observed annually on June 23rd, International Widows Day is a holiday that attempts to address the issues of injustice and poverty faced by widows and their dependents worldwide. For far too many women, widowhood is a tragedy magnified by a long-term fight for their basic dignity, human rights, and sometimes even survival.

There are over 260 million widows around the world, and many of them are invisible in the communities where they live. As global pandemics, war, migration, and disasters leave tens of thousands of women widowed and displaced daily, it’s up to all of us to figure out how to give these women back their voice and help them maintain their dignity and human rights.

The History of International Widows Day

The Loomba Foundation was the first to raise awareness about the problem of widowhood. The first International Widows Day took place in 2005, and by 2010, events observing this holiday were held worldwide, including in the U.S., the U.K., Nepal, Syria, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Bangladesh, and South Africa. In December 2010, the UN General Assembly officially adopted International Widows Day and marked June 23rd as the day of its observance.

Observing International Widows Day

On this day, conferences are held at the United Nations and by governments around the world to address the issues of widowhood and how these widows can be given back their human rights and dignity. People also use the day to address their governments about the issue of widowhood.

On social media, the hashtag #InternationalWidowsDay is used to raise awareness about this holiday and the problems faced by millions of widowed women globally. No one should suffer a loss of human rights, dignity, or voice because of the loss of a spouse.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 23 Sunday
Next year (2025)
June 23 Monday
Last year (2023)
June 23 Friday
Awareness & Cause, Relationships & Family, United Nations