A day to recognise widows

Losing a spouse or partner can be devasting. For couples that have been together for many years the loss of a loved one can be especially painful.

In recognition of widows, International Widows’ Day is held each year on June 23. It is a day of action to address the poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in countries around the world”. The United Nations says the main goal of the day is to create awareness about the condition of widows and protect their rights.


However, we can all play our part when dealing with someone who has lost their soulmate.


Things to remember when dealing with someone’s grief. Widows needs a space to freely express their emotions, fears, and memories, so it is important to avoid offering unsolicited advice or attempting to “fix” their grief. Instead, be encouraging and ask them to share their thoughts and experiences. You can be a listening ear and be a big support.


Avoid judgment but validate the grieving person’s emotions and experiences, acknowledging that the sadness is valid.



The United Nations has observed International Widows Day since 2011, to “draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they need”.


The UN website claims there are about 258 million widows around the world, and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty. In some parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, it is reported that a staggering 50 per cent of women are widows.


The UN remembrance for widows began with the work of Rajinder Paul Loomba, a philanthropist, founder and executive chairman of clothing company Loomba Group. He is recognised for his fundraising on behalf of widowhood in the developing world. His mother, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, was widowed at the age of 37 in India.


For more details go to International Widows’ Day


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