A nongovernmental organization, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, has empowered over 200 widows drawn from the six area councils of the territory as part of activities to mark the 2019 International Widow’s Day.
The organisers of the programme said the annual event was to show that widows can live violence and abuse free lives with dignity and respect, stressing that it is necessary to understand their conditions and enable them to live the life they desired.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the programme, the president and founder of Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said International Widow’s Day encouraged people to work towards the rights for widows, highlighting the issues that women face, violence, discrimination and poverty suffered by widows.
Ahmadu called on stakeholders to come up with programmes and policies that would address the challenges faced by widows in various societies.
She said: “Today’s event is in line with this year’s theme, ‘Developing Resources and Policies to Empower Widows’. What we are doing here today is to empower over 200 widows from different area councils of the territory with special training on how to formulate safe skin care products.
“We as a group understand that to lose a partner in life cannot be expressed in words: how he or she felt. Several women around the world after losing their life partner face challenges and do long-term struggle for basic needs, their human right and dignity.
“We equally understand that in some societies, widows face challenges such as denied inheritance rights to the piece of land, forced into unwanted marriages, unimaginable widowhood rituals and forced to leave her husband’s home among other obnoxious rituals.
“Widows’ children also face several problems like been withdrawn from school and are more vulnerable to abuse.”