"On this International Widows’ Day, let us resolve to end all discrimination against the world’s widows, and to enable them to enjoy their full human rights. The benefits will extend to their children, communities and society as a whole."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
An elderly widow and her family in a makeshift hut made of tarpaulin sheets in front of their destroyed house in Tarlay Sub-Township. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Shan State in March 2011. © Lynn Maung/IRIN
The first International Widows’ Day was observed on 23 June 2011, providing an opportunity to give special recognition to the plight of widows and their children in order to restore their human rights and alleviate poverty through empowerment.
In December 2010, the General Assembly declared 23 June as International Widows’ Day (A/RES/65/189). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2011, to observe International Widows’ Day on 23 June each year, and called upon Member States, the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, within their respective mandates, to give special attention to the situation of widows and their children.