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Experts task government on widow’s welfare, others

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A cross section of Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation widows commemorating the United Nations International Widows’ Day with the theme: Invisible Women, Invisible Problems in Lagos

Experts have charged government at all levels on the need to tackle the plight of widows instead of grouping them with women whose husbands are still around.

Executive Coordinator of Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF), Mrs. Foluke Ademokun, made the call in line with United Nations International Widow’s Day with the theme: Invisible Women, Invisible Problems, held in Lagos.

She stressed that women were heterogeneous in nature with their different needs, personalities, challenges, circumstances and tastes and as such they should be addressed differently instead of being classified into single group.

She argued that widowhood was a global issue that affects people all over the world, but that government at all levels should address their problems by paying more attention to them as it is done in advanced countries.

Ademokun emphasised that in her dealings with widows over the years, she had observed that most widows face very daunting financial hardship, cultural and traditional problems, lack of skills, inability to fend for their children, as well as molestation from families and neighbours, among others

Also speaking, Executive Director, Women Law Development Centre, Dr. Kezaiah Awosika, encouraged the women to take their positions in national development, and advised women at age forty to have a will, improve their mindsets to add value to the Society rather than wait for their husbands.

She observed that today’s woman was more independent, knew her rights and would not allow her rights to be trampled upon and urged them to be a part of Widows Connect WhatsApp platform to interact, support, speak out and seek help to confront their challenges.

Another speaker, Mrs. Mimy Barka Allah added that in French speaking countries, women are taught their civil rights from early schools days, as well as massive media awareness with protection from the courts, security agents and governments, which give them the advantage of not being tramped upon.

She pointed out that in line with global standards and in order to be at par with the foreign women folk, they should use social media constructively to achieve aims.

In his exhortation, Reverend Emmanuel Enefazu-Ossai, charged them to open up to God (the Creator) and consult counselors to regularly manage their mental and emotional stresses.

In their response, the widows appreciated the AAAF for all the support, vocational training and welfare of their families over the years.


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