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Tallen brings succour to FCT widows, seeks end to discriminatory practices

By Joy Baba-Yesufu, Abuja
25 June 2022   |   4:04 am
To commemorate this year’s International Widows Day, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen have donated food and clothing items to widows in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen. Photo: TWITTER/PAULINEKTALLEN

To commemorate this year’s International Widows Day, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen have donated food and clothing items to widows in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Presenting the items to women during a community engagement programme, the minister who was represented by the acting permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr. Idris Muhammed said the aim of the event is to promote actions towards including and implementing policies on rights of widows.

She said this could be achieved by stressing the need for additional research on data/statistics into incidences of violence, discriminatory practices, prejudice and poverty experienced by widows.

Tallen further said that one of the major factors that heighten violence against widows is socio-cultural norms which is prevalent in the country. “Many widows in Nigeria are looked down upon while they remain at the pivot of debasing treatments. Widows are sometimes subjected to agonising, painful and dehumanising treatment during their mourning rites and thereafter, this impact negatively on their social, psychological and physical wellbeing.

“Though challenges still exist in addressing issues of discrimination and poverty reduction among women including widows and young girls, renewed commitment and determinations by all stakeholders is paramount to attain desired results”.

Also speaking, director of Gender Development Christiana Oliko, said this year’s theme brings to the fore, the various challenges confronting widows urging the various policy makers to support and empower them to be self-sufficient.

“Widows in Nigeria live in abject poverty, and suffer from social stigmatisations, denied inheritance, land rights, ostracised, sometimes rendered homeless, sexually abused and suffer economic deprivations. Little or nothing is done to alleviate their sufferings after the death of their spouse”.

She stressed that the ministry would continue to work out modalities aimed at providing opportunities that will improve their livelihoods and economic dependence to enhance their access to and control over resources.

While a representative of the widows’ group and Executive Director of Mijas Foundation for Women and Children with Disabilities, Mubi Awala Beatrice, urged widows to be productive to reduce their chances of vulnerability to all forms of abuse and vices.

She also encouraged them to speak up in cases of abuse, “their husbands are dead but they are not dead, they have to be up and doing to take care of their children and as they are making efforts, people will also support them. Widows should stand upright, be firm and be productive to put food on their table so their children can be safe.”