Losing someone is never easy and having to live life without your partner is even harder. For women all over the world, the loss is even bigger as they have to struggle for their basic needs, rights and dignity. As we mark International Widows’ Day 2020 today on June 23, we take a look at the history, significance of the day and the theme this year.Also Read - Forced to Flee: Over 80 Million People Displaced Worldwide | List of Nations From Where Refugees Are Arriving

As per the United Nations, there are an estimated 258 million widows around the world, and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty. Apart from that, 2.7 billion women are denied access to the same choice of jobs as men due to legal restrictions, and one in three face gender-based violence even today. Also Read - Failure To Vaccinate Everyone Will Give Rise To New Variants, Warns UN Chief Guterres

History of International Widows’ Day:

The United Nations General Assembly formally adopted June 23 as International Widows’ Day on December 21, 2010, and it began to observe it from 2011. But the day had been established before then by The Loomba Foundation in memory of Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, who became a widow in 1954. Its purpose was to care for widows and their children, and to change the culture that discriminates against them. Also Read - More Research Needed On COVID Vaccine Efficacy Against Omicron, Says WHO

Significance of International Widows’ Day:

The day is important as it brings about awareness among the public the problems that widows face all over the world. It is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women. It is also a day to draw the attention of the people to take action and provide full rights and recognition for widows.

Theme of International Widows’ Day 2020:

This year the theme is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’, which is aligned with UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign, Generation Equality.