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Some GTK widgets don't have associated X windows, so they just draw on their parents. Because of this, they cannot receive events and if they are incorrectly sized, they don't clip so you can get messy overwriting, etc. If you require more from these widgets, the EventBox is for you.
At first glance, the EventBox widget might appear to be totally useless. It draws nothing on the screen and responds to no events. However, it does serve a function - it provides an X window for its child widget. This is important as many GTK widgets do not have an associated X window. Not having an X window saves memory and improves performance, but also has some drawbacks. A widget without an X window cannot receive events, and does not perform any clipping on its contents. Although the name EventBox emphasizes the event-handling function, the widget can also be used for clipping. (and more, see the example below).