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International Widows’ Day takes place on 23 June each year. A resolution to mark this day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010. The aim of International Widows’ Day is to address the issues faced by widowed women. These include the increased risk of poverty and violence and a lack of access to health care. The UN has stated:

The abuse of widows and their children constitutes one of the most serious violations of human rights and obstacles to development today. Millions of the world’s widows endure extreme poverty, ostracism, violence, homelessness, ill health and discrimination in law and custom.

The UN has also noted these issues are more widespread when there is an increase in the number of widows following armed conflict.


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