Plight of the Widow

June 23 was International Widows’ Day, a United Nations-ratified day that recognises the situation that widows face around the world.

Afghan widows work as part of a road construction crew in Kabul.

Afghan widows work as part of a road construction crew in Kabul. (Getty)

Speliose Kangwera, a widow from the 1994 Rwandan genocide, uses thread and beads to make a lapel pin at the headquarters for the Association for Genocide Widows on in Kigali, Rwanda.

Speliose Kangwera, a widow from the 1994 Rwandan genocide, uses thread and beads to make a lapel pin at the headquarters for the Association for Genocide Widows on in Kigali, Rwanda. (Getty)

Blind Sudanese refugee Fathna Ibrahim, who lost her husband and was tortured by members of Janjaweed, sits with her daughter in a hut in the Goz Amir Refugee Camp in Chad.

Blind Sudanese refugee Fathna Ibrahim, who lost her husband and was tortured by members of Janjaweed, sits with her daughter in a hut in the Goz Amir Refugee Camp in Chad. (Getty)

Sara Jones pauses for thought as she looks at her husband’s name inscribed on the wall of Armed Forces Memorial at the National Arboretum in Alrewas, England.

Sara Jones pauses for thought as she looks at her husband’s name inscribed on the wall of Armed Forces Memorial at the National Arboretum in Alrewas, England. (Getty)

Sabera (C) smokes heroin with her son Zaher, 14, and daughter Gulparai, 12, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sabera has been smoking for four years since she lost her husband.

Sabera (C) smokes heroin with her son Zaher, 14, and daughter Gulparai, 12, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sabera has been smoking for four years since she lost her husband. (Getty)

Representation of an Indian woman practising the obsolete tradition of sati in which she burns herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre.

Representation of an Indian woman practising the obsolete tradition of sati in which she burns herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre. (Getty)

Mahiya Yas Iqab lost her family to executions in the Iraqi town of Dujail in 1982.

Mahiya Yas Iqab lost her family to executions in the Iraqi town of Dujail in 1982. (Getty)

A note from the widow of a slain American soldier stands next to her husband's grave marker in 'Section 60' of the Arlington National Cemetery. Section 60 contains graves of US soldiers killed in Ira

A note from the widow of a slain American soldier stands next to her husband's grave marker in 'Section 60' of the Arlington National Cemetery. Section 60 contains graves of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Getty)

An Afghan woman tries to keep warm while waiting in line at a food distribution centre in Kabul, Afghanistan.

An Afghan woman tries to keep warm while waiting in line at a food distribution centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Getty)