Widowhood is a reality of life and unfortunately, sometimes it is considered as a taboo for the society. International Widows’ Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows’ are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. In some section of our society Widows are treated very badly. Hindu widows, traditionally, suffered a lot and many are still suffering and fighting with the daily comments which are put on them.
International Widows Day is not recognized by many people, even I did not know about this before. We do not observe or recognize this day, as we observe yoga day and any other day in our country, why? because it did not please us? There is a need in our society to observe this day at a very huge level to make people aware of this. 23rd June, is observed as International Widows’ Day it has been marked by United Nation.
In 2011 United Nations has taken the initiative to empower widows and help them to regain their rights, which have been ignored. In some countries, widows are forced to take part in rituals, such as drinking the water used to wash the body of their dead husband. Vast numbers of women are widowed due to armed conflict. 7 to 16% of all adult women in the world are widows. Women are more likely to be widowed than men for two reasons: First is because women live longer than men, second is because women tend to marry older men.
Some 285 million widows around the world, with over 115 million of them living in deep poverty. Many widows face multiple discrimination on the basis of age, rural location etc. Many small girls are married to a much older man and they have to face a long lifetime of widowhood. In many countries, they often face problems related to inheritance and land rights. Widows are often abused and thrown out of the house, sometimes even killed by the members of their own family. In different countries, there are different rules or norms for the widow. Even the children of widows are often affected, both emotionally and economically.
International Widows’ day provides an opportunity to the widows, to achieve their full rights and to be recognized. They need to be treated equally like others. Observing this day may give them, back their dignity and improve their lives. Some women have developed the knowledge about their rights and feel confident enough to stand up and ask for help to protect them.
We can find the solution to this problem but only if we will propagate and discuss with each other. The condition of widow will improve if their voices are heard; their problems are recognized and enable opportunities for widows to lead happier lives. For the welfare of widows, we should organise workshops so that they can improve their skills and become self-dependent. This will also help them to increase their confidence; to face the society in a challenging manner. This initiative will make them sufficient so that they can give their children better life and education.
In fact, there are many widows in the west achieved success in spite of their loss, like Mary Todd Lincoln, Coretta Scott King, Katharine Graham etc. If they can be successful then why not other widows, we just need to take this type of initiatives to improve their life.
Widows are also human being and part of our society; they also have the same right to live like others.
BMC 5th sem [St. Xavier’s College of Mgmt. and Tech.]