As part of events to mark the International Widow’s Day (IWD), a Non Governmental Organisation, Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, has empowered 200 widows drawn from the six area councils of the FCT.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the programme, President and Founder of Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the day was set aside to draw attention to the rights of widows by highlighting issues that widows face including discrimination and poverty.
“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 the six area councils of the territory with special training on how to formulate safe skin care products.
“We as a group understand that to loss a partner in life cannot be expressed in words, how he or she felt. Several women around the world after losing their life partner faces 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, unimagined widowhood rituals, force to leave her husband’s home among other obnoxious rituals. Widows, children also face several problems like they are withdrawn from the school and are more vulnerable to abuse,” she said.
According to her, there was need to develop policies and programmes to address the problems that widows face as well as empower them.
Speaking to our correspondent, one of the beneficiaries and President of Salama Love, Mrs. Afinike Whatley, commended the Foundation for sustaining the empowerment scheme for over 10 years.
She called on government and other stakeholders to support genuine NGOs working with widow in order to tackle challenges faced by widows and their children.
IWD was introduced to address poverty and injustice faced by widows and their children in many countries.
It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2010 and observed annually on June 23.