Conference Room 2, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York
On the occasion of the first International Widows’ Day, UN Women and the Government of Gabon have organized a conference to draw attention to the situation of widows around the world and to mobilize the international community, government decision makers and civil society to address the social climate that perpetuates discrimination against widows and explore how to provide opportunities for widows in their societies. The discussions of this conference will initiate dialogue through which to better understand the situation of widows worldwide and to develop support mechanisms and strategies that respond to the needs of widows.
The conference will be webcast live on this page (tune in at 10:00 EDT on 23 June 2011) or on UN webcast (Channel 5).
About International Widows’ Day:
Widows are everywhere. They are adults — our mothers, our sisters and our friends — but they are also young — women in the prime of their lives. They are an integral part of every society. Yet, little is known about who they are and the challenges they face. Seldom captured in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, often neglected by laws and development strategies — the situation of widows is, in effect, invisible.
To give special recognition to the situation of widows across all regions, the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2010 adopted resolution 65/189 and declared 23 June as International Widows’ Day. Adopted by consensus, the resolution had been initiated by the Government of Gabon and was jointly sponsored by 56 countries. The commemoration of the very first International Widows’ Day on 23 June 2011 provides an opportunity to raise awareness of not only the discrimination and challenges faced by widows around the world, but also pay attention to the valuable contributions they make to their communities.