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Thursday, 23 June 2011

As we look upon the future on women and pensions, to secure financial entitlements for working mothers, today is also International Widows Day, the first one recognised. We must not forget the widows supporting loved ones and young families. The instability of the economy, and lack of work available, how are female widows in today's society surviving?

It should not come to a surprise, there are 245 million widows globally, regardless of age, some are still young, unfortunately  in this position, within the developing world. They too are seeking help to support their children and care for older generations within the extended family. They are vulnerable equally as those in the older population.

Reports indicate from the source USA Today that widows exist in vast numbers, in the region of 115 million, they globally live in poverty and in destitute.Widows have increasingly arisen from conflicts at war, Afghanistan alone has 2 million. Widows in Africa through lack of health care and HIV/Aids are left to support children and rural homes. Bangladesh has over 4.7 million widows, so when we look at the global picture of supporting women, to secure financial well being and independence we must also consider these widows.

UN Women has organised the International Widows Day with the support of the Republic of Gabon as part of the millennium development goals. The day can only raise awareness once again of these widows hidden in the shadows.


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