“My wonderful best of best friends for the last nearly 70 years, the charismatic and exceptionally gifted Baroness Sally Greengross, great campaigner and advocate for older people.
Sally was greatly loved wherever she was… In addition to her own commitments, she always energetically supported my own work on widowhood issues. I am eternally indebted to her for her fantastic friendship, loyalty and wise advice that has kept me going in spite of many obstacles and difficulties.
I am inconsolable but also so relieved she has gone to the other shore so peacefully. R.I.P” – Margaret Owen OBE.

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Margaret Owen OBE marks International Widows Day with an empassioned interview on Voice of Islam radio. The Drive Time Show reached out to Widows for Peace to speak about the status of widows globally and how we can truly ensure their rights are safeguarded. Voice of Islam is a digital radio station with listeners across the globe focusing on a variety of topics from contemporary, to cultural and current affairs through an Islamic lens – asking how today’s issues can be dealt with on a societal and individual level. On International Widows Day,

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As the 90th session of the Commission on the Rights of the Child is under way, it is of the utmost importance to reflect on the lack of awareness surrounding the situation of child widows. A child widow refers to a young girl who has been subject to both child marriage and widowhood before the age of eighteen. The intersectional nature of their social standing means they are subject to multiple, intersecting atrocities with little protection of their human rights. Poverty, illiteracy and youth all combine to create an unimaginably difficult situation for these young girls, leaving them suspectable to issues including sex trafficking or child pornography.

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After real concerted pressure from civil society, finally, the word widows appears not once but twice in the Agreed Conclusions of the The sixty-sixth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in March.
Small steps certainly but nevertheless a change!
Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD) has helped lead the way to pressure, to prompt and to demand that widows are brought out of the shadows, their voices heard and that they are named so that Member States can no longer play ‘blind’ to some of the most vulnerable women in their countries, communities and families…

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It is indeed a triumph to see this Resolution adopted by the UN – it makes our 27-year long struggle worthwhile. This Resolution will also give much confidence to our widow NGOs and WPD Partners and help them to better state their case to their governments. This is a positive step forward, though widows still have many mountains to climb to achieve their full human rights and we will continue to do our utmost ensure that the voices of widows of all ages, throughout the world, are heard at the hightest levels.

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Widows are faced with a unique situation when it comes to climate change. The experience of gender inequality shared by many women globally combined with the perceived ‘burden’ of widows on society serves to create a constant cycle of exclusion and abuse, not just from widows communities but often their own family too, thus removing any support system that may have been accessible without their widowhood status.

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The tearful goodbyes at the Kyiv station may be farewells for ever for those mothers carrying their children to safety.
The brave Ukrainian men staying behind to defend their country risk not just death, but capture, detention and disappearance into distant gulags.
There will be millions of widows, but also “ half-widows “….

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WPD has been shocked beyond words by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the destruction and death being rained down on innocent people.
The following message has been received from Lyudmyla Porokhnyak, Chair of the National Council of Women of Ukraine, a partner organisation…

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CSW 66 parallel event bringing together speakers from Burma, Nepal and Kenya to explore how widows can be and already are sources of empowerment and change in their local communities.
And how widows combat the systemic issues increased by environmental change, destruction, conflict and coronavirus.

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