Message from Ban Ki-moon On International Widows’ Day

Message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

On International Widows’ Day, 23 June 2013

We commemorate the third International Widows’ Day for the hundreds of millions of women in the world who suffer exploitation, deprivation and exclusion when their husbands die. Today, we call for stronger action to end widespread discrimination against widows because no woman should lose her rights when she loses her husband.

Every human being has the right to live in dignity with equal rights and opportunities to realize their potential. Yet women and girls continue to face gender-based violence and discrimination, and this is the case for many widows around the world.

Many widows are denied their rights—from being evicted from their homes because they cannot inherit property or the land they live on to being forced into exploitative and risky sex work to support themselves and their families because they have no income and nowhere else to turn. [Read more…]