June 23rd

International Widows' Day -

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International Widows’ Day, celebrated annually on June 23, is a day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness about the struggles and challenges faced by widows worldwide. This observance aims to bring global attention to the violation of human rights that many widows are subjected to due to economic instability, social isolation, and legal discrimination.

This day also intends to develop resources and policy solutions to address these issues. It serves as a platform to acknowledge the persevering spirit of widows and pay tribute to their resilience despite the hardships.

History of International Widows' Day

Established by the Loomba Foundation in 2005, International Widows’ Day is commemorated every year on June 23. The purpose of this day is to address the struggles faced by millions of widows and their dependents in numerous countries, particularly in aspects of poverty and injustices.

The Loomba Foundation, a philanthropic organization in the United Kingdom, was created by Raj Loomba in 1997. Loomba started this movement inspired by his personal experience: his father passed away early, and he witnessed first-hand the social and financial challenges his mother had to face as a widow. These hardships became the motivation for Loomba to advocate for widows’ rights.

To bring light to the problems widows across the globe deal with, the Loomba Foundation launched International Widows’ Day in 2005. The inaugural event, which took place at the House of Lords in London, was attended by delegates from more than twenty countries.

The date chosen, June 23, has personal relevance for Raj Loomba since it is the day his mother became a widow. The fundamental purpose of this day is to raise consciousness about the social imbalances and hindrances that widows encounter in several countries due to societal discrimination and legal limitations.

In 2010, a petition to officially acknowledge International Widows’ Day on a global scale was submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by the Loomba Foundation. Consequently, on December 21, 2010, the United Nations’ 65th General Assembly officially accepted a proposal, co-sponsored by Gabon and over 50 other countries, that June 23 be recognized as International Widows’ Day.

International Widows' Day Timeline

First Commemoration of International Widows' Day

Lord Raj Loomba initiated the first International Widows' Day in the United Kingdom.

First Official United Nations International Widows' Day

The United Nations observes International Widows' Day for the first time.

International Widows' Day Becomes a Global Event

Countries around the globe notably observe International Widows' Day with various activities.

Current Year

Continued worldwide observance of International Widows' Day to give recognition and provide help for widows, who often suffer poverty, ill health, violence, and social ostracism.

Ideas to Celebrate International Widows' Day

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Fundraising Brunch

Organize a fundraising brunch dedicated to supporting organizations focused on caring for widows. Invite your community, share stories and raise funds.

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Support Group Gathering

Arrange a support group meet-up for widows where they can share their experiences, offer advice and emotional support to each other.

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Counseling Sessions

Provide free counseling sessions for widows to help them navigate through their grief and forge ahead.

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Note of Kindness

Encourage school children to write empathetic letters to widows in their community, fostering understanding and kindness.

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Wellness Fair

Host a wellness fair providing health check-ups, mental health resources, fitness classes, nutrition advice and more, specifically catering to the needs of widows.

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Skill Development Workshop

Organize free training seminars or workshops on various skill development subjects that could help widows regain their self-esteem and financial stability.

6 Interesting Facts About Widows


Historic Perspective

In Ancient India, widows were sometimes burned alive with their deceased husbands in a practice called 'Sati'. This horrific tradition was eventually outlawed by the British in the 19th century.


Black Widow Spiders

Contrary to popular belief, female black widow spiders rarely kill their mates after copulation. This myth likely evolved due to the spider's ominous name.


Life Expectancy

In the United States, the average age at which a woman becomes a widow is 59 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


Widowhood Effect

The widowhood effect is a phenomenon where widowed individuals have a significantly higher risk of dying themselves after losing a spouse, particularly during the first three months.


Widows and Superstitions

In many cultures, there are numerous superstitions related to widows. For instance, in parts of India, it is traditionally considered bad luck to see a widow first thing in the morning.


The Color of Mourning

The tradition of widows wearing black as a sign of mourning originates from the Roman Empire. However, in some Eastern cultures, white is the color of mourning, not black.

International Widows' Day FAQs

Next International Widows' Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 June 23rd Friday
2024 June 23rd Sunday
2025 June 23rd Monday
2026 June 23rd Tuesday
2027 June 23rd Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every June 23rd

International Widows' Day Word Search

  • Widows
  • Empowerment
  • Awareness
  • Support
  • Encourage
  • Compassion