​IIW President Message 19-6-2020

Posted by International Inner Wheel | Jun 19, 2020 |

Women are great leaders – well, I would say that wouldn’t I, for I am a woman. However, if you look around you and amongst your friends in Inner Wheel you will see nearly 110,000 women, who with their natural leadership ability, have proven that “together we can” make the world a safer and better place for all to live.

Yesterday, today and even tomorrow, Inner Wheel members demonstrate that by working together they can highlight and challenge disease awareness, poverty prevention, education for all, the environment, female hygiene provisions, loneliness and the many other situations where the safety and well-being of women and their families are concerned.

It is by being represented at the United Nations that we are able to highlight these situations to the World Leaders and to emphasise a number of them, by having special days of recognition. Since 2010, June 23rd is such a day – it is officially recognised International Widows Day.

This day was introduced to address poverty and injustice faced by widows and their children in many countries. It is estimated that there are 258 million widows worldwide, 115 million of whom live in poverty and suffer from social stigmatisation and economic deprivation, purely because they have lost their husbands. 86 million have suffered physical abuse and 1.5 million children of widowed mothers will die before reaching the age of 5 years.

The loss of a partner is devastating. It is a known fact that the majority of women outlive their partners and for many women around the world, that loss is magnified by a long-term struggle for their basic needs, their human rights and dignity.

Over the last six months, the devastating human loss from the Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the situation, leaving tens of thousands of women newly widowed and totally cut off from their usual social, economic and family supports.

Next Tuesday on the 23rd June - International Widows Day - let us resolve to end all discrimination against the world’s widows and to enable them to enjoy their full human rights. Many of these widows are not looked after by governments or NGOs and are shunned by society; so let us use our Leadership skills to help them, both practically and socially, by giving them the tools to support themselves and their families. We need to restore their human rights and through education help them to alleviate poverty and discrimination.

Inner Wheel is an organisation that does care and does take action so - as well as all your other projects and activities - will you please remember on June 23rd all the widows worldwide that are facing hardship and loneliness.

Let us show that “together we can” help a group that are often forgotten. Let us take action and prove why we are the world’s leading voluntary service organisation. Let us prove that, as leaders in this world, INNER WHEEL Members are a force to be reckoned with.

Please stay safe and enjoy being you - a member of Inner Wheel.

Love and friendship,

Phyllis