International Widows Day Events galvanize support for Widows, call for full and equal rights
Marking International Widows’ Day on June 23rd, Bala Vikasa successfully hosted two virtual events - State level Convention and Global Conference on the theme ‘Invisible Women, Invisible Problems,’ with over 6000 participants from across the world. Experts from various walks of life participated in the panel discussion to discuss the challenges widows face due to stigma and age-old beliefs of the society.
The State Level Convention had over 6000 participants from the villages of the Telugu States. Shoury Reddy Singareddy, Executive Director, Bala Vikasa moderated the event and Dr. G B Reddy, Dean, Faculty of Law, OU, Kondaveeti Sathyavati, Secretary of Bhumika Women’s Collective, and Gangu Upender Sharma, President of Telangana Archaka Sangham participated in the panel discussion and gave their insights on the reforms required in addressing widows’ issues to bring about long-lasting and high-impact changes in perceiving widowhood especially in rural areas. During the discussion, Kondaveeti Sathyavati expressed Bhumika’s Women Collective’s interest to be a part of Bala Vikasa’s movement to eradicate the discrimination against widows.
“The only way to change the perception of widowhood in society is through discourse. We should have more such discussions and conversations on the intricacies of the issues faced by widows in the present day. It is appreciative of Bala Vikasa for their constant efforts in fighting for the rights of widows and enabling rural poor widows to be independent despite the stigma around widowhood,” said Dr. GB Reddy during the discussion.
Moderated by Shoury Reddy Singareddy, Executive Director, Bala Vikasa, the Global conference had over 300 participants from over 20 countries. Saloni Pradhan Singh, Executive Chair, Didi Bahini from Nepal, Betty Vershima Pete-Ekanem, Director of Renascence of Hope Initiative from Nigeria, Richard Rochefort, President of Dare to Lead from Canada, G Uday Kumar, Senior Civil Judge, and Kondaveeti Satyavathi, Secretary of Bhumika Women's Collective, India were the panelists of the discussion. The discussion focused on the issues faced by widows in different parts of the world and cultures and the possible solutions to address them. The panel observed that widows’ across the world face similar issues and new-age amendments in legislation would be the solution to let widows lead a decent life in today’s age and time.
Participating in the Global Conference Bala T. Singareddy Gingras, Founder of Bala Vikasa said “it is important that all the NGOs working for the welfare of women’s and widows’ rights to come together to fight against this discrimination against widows. We can only achieve changes in the system only if we join forces and fight collectively for the welfare of widows. There is a need to have recurring events, activities, discussions, involving young and old alike, to highlight the challenges of widows and propose solutions for their emancipation and empowerment.”