2022 International Widows’ Day: Ministry to empower 150 FCT widows
NNN: The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMoWA) on Tuesday says it will empower 150 widows in the FCT with palliatives as part of its 2022 International Widows Day celebration.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Abuja on activities to mark the day.
Tallen, who was represented by the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Idris Mohammed, said that the day is to raise awareness on the violation of human rights that widows worldwide go through following the death of their husbands.
The minister, while decrying the hardship faced by widows, added that socio-cultural norms had contributed immensely to violence meted out to them.
She said “many widows in Nigeria are subjected to agonising, painful and dehumanising treatment during the mourning rites and thereafter.
“This impact negatively on their social, psychological and physical well-being.”
She added that the ministry was empowering widows in the FCT with palliatives to cushion the hardship they face and to encourage them to strive harder.
The minister explained that this year’s theme — “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems,” was to further highlight their challenges and to ensure policy makers gave special attention to their needs.
The acting permanent secretary listed challenges facing widows to include poverty, social stigmatisation and economic deprivation, homelessness, forced labour, sexual abuse.
Mohammed, represented by Mrs Christianah Oniko, the acting Director, Women Development, Department, reiterated the commitment of the ministry toward supporting widows.
He said “the ministry will continue to work out modalities for opportunities that will improve widows’ livelihood and economic independence.
“This will also enhance their access to and control over resources and increase investment in human capital, which in turn improves the nutrition, health and overall well-being of the family.”
In a goodwill message, Dr Josephine Ogazi-Egwuonwu, the Executive Director, All Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation (WEWE), thanked government for supporting widows, orphans and vulnerable persons.
Similarly, Ms Beatrice Muba, the FCT Women Leader, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), emphasised the need to support women with disabilities, especially widows.
She said “women with disabilities face a lot of challenges, you can imagine having disability and being a widow in our society, that becomes double tragedy.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the International Widows’ Day is annually celebrated on June 23 to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanise the unique support that they need.
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