New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the world community to respect widows` rights, Xinhua reported on Friday.
Speaking on occasion of the first-ever International Widows` Day, the UN chief said: "Death is inevitable, but we can reduce the suffering that widows endure by raising their status and helping them in their hour of need.”
"This will contribute to promoting the full and equal participation of all women in society. And that will bring us closer to ending poverty and promoting peace around the world."
International Widows` Day was created by the UN General Assembly in 2010 to highlight the plight of widows worldwide who have experienced violation of their rights and dignity.
"Of the approximately 245 million widows in our world, more than 115 million live in extreme poverty," Ban said, adding: "In countries embroiled in conflicts, women are often widowed young and must bear the heavy burden of caring for their children amid fighting and displacement with no help or support."