International Widows Day

From Adversity to Advocacy: Rising for Widows Rights Empowerment Worldwide

In the face of adversity, widows worldwide have shown remarkable resilience. However, their plight, often characterized by discrimination and economic hardship, remains a pressing issue. This article explores the efforts by the United Nations (UN) and various governments for widows’ rights empowerment and promote women’s empowerment and equality.

Global Efforts to Safeguard Widows’ Rights

The UN has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of widows. In 2010, the UN General Assembly formally adopted June 23 as International Widows Day, urging member states and organizations to give special attention to the situation of widows and their children. This recognition has been pivotal in raising awareness about the challenges widows face, from denial of inheritance and land rights to various forms of abuse.[1]

Legal Reforms: A Step Towards Equality

Many governments have taken steps to improve the economic condition of widows. A 2016 report from the World Bank Group revealed that 90 percent of 173 nations had at least one law limiting women’s economic participation, including constraints on their ability to inherit or own land.[2] In response, UN Women called for the repeal of these discriminatory laws, aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’ mandate to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.[3]

The Impact of Empowerment Initiatives

UN Women established the Fund for Gender Equality to support economic and political empowerment for women. Since 2009, the fund has awarded $64 million to 120 programs in 80 countries, helping 23,000 women increase their incomes and another 3,000 gain leadership positions. These initiatives have had a profound impact on the lives of widows, offering them a lifeline towards economic independence.[4]

GFA World has been at the forefront of supporting widows, providing them with resources to overcome their challenges. For instance, GFA World reported on one widow named Gulika, who faced ostracism and despair after her husband’s death. A GFA World-supported pastor arranged for a new water well to be drilled in front of her home, significantly improving her living conditions.

While significant strides have been made, much remains to be done to fully protect and empower widows worldwide. We must continue to advocate for their rights, challenge discriminatory practices, and provide them with the resources they need to thrive. By donating or partnering with GFA World’s Widows and Abandoned Children Fund, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of widows worldwide. Together, we can help them overcome adversity and build a brighter future.

Learn more about the international widows dayn

[1] “International Widows Day.” Wikipedia, January 16, 2023.
[2] World Bank. “Women, Business, and the Law 2016 : Getting to Equal (English).” Accessed October 26, 2023.
[3] UN Women – Headquarters. “Statement: Widows’ Rights to Independent Life and Livelihood after Loss.” Accessed October 26, 2023.
[4] UN Women. “Trust Funds: Fund for Gender Equality: Results.” Accessed October 26, 2023.