24 June 2010

Exploding Number of Young Widows in the World

*** Former First Lady of Britain, Cherie Blair, champions the millions of young widows of the world, shockingly many are right here in the United States.

From Denny: Former First Lady of Britain, Cherie Blair, is calling attention to and focusing upon the plight of widows, especially young widows with children, all over the world. The statistics will astound you as to how many widows living in abject poverty there are today globally.

Normally, when we think of a "widow" we presume her to be elderly and is cared for by a son or daughter in her old age. Such a caring attitude does not await most young widows, especially in places like India and Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries.

In Asia and the Near East, it is a social stigma to be a widow. What's worse is these women, especially in Afghanistan, are not allowed to work to put food on the table for their children. As a result, they end up in terrible crushing poverty. They live sad lives suffering terrible diseases, malnutrition and abuse. It's no wonder those National Geographic pictures always show their faces to be so sad.

The reasons for widowhood? HIV, AIDS, war.

Surprisingly, the largest number of widows in the world are in the United States, China and India. Afghanistan has the highest number of widows in relation to marriage age women.

Current count of widows:

China - 44 million

India - 42 million

United States - 15 million

Right now former First Lady of Britain, Cherie Blair, is asking the United Nations to focus attention upon an often overlooked segment of society: widows. She wants the international organization to create International Widows Day.

Out of 245 million widows, over 100 million live in extreme poverty which leads to malnutrition, disease and abuse - according to The Loomba Foundation. Cherie Blair is President of The Loomba Foundation. Check out her website to see how you can help your fellow women.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

*** Photo by Victor Bezrukov @ flickr

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