Embrace economic empowerment to be self reliant, Group urges widows

A non-governmental organisation, Women Centre for Self-Empowerment and Development (WOCSED), has urged widows in Nigeria to embrace economic empowerment to be self-reliant and eradicate poverty.

Its Founder, Mrs Onyeka Obi, made the call at the commemoration of International Widows’ Day on Thursday at Igbo-Ukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra.

The International Widows’ Day is commemorated every June 23 in an effort to empower widows and help them regain their rights, which have long been ignored and violated.

The theme for 2021 commemoration is “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems”.

Obi expressed concern over the plights of widows in the present times, saying they are made invisible to the society with dire economic implications.

According to her, one of the greatest consolations to a bereaved widow is economic empowerment in the form of a job or an acquired skill that can bring regular income.

“Widows in our society are mostly faced with stigmatisation, persecution, deprivation, marginalisation and exclusion as a result of the demise of their husbands.

“The incidence of widowhood is often a catalyst to poverty.

“This is why, as a responsive organisation, we are having this event to respond to some of the plights of widows and their children who suffered exclusion in the society.

“We urge widows to acquire skills that will keep them busy, help them think less about the unfortunate situation on hand and help them meet their basic financial needs.

“We also want to educate widows on the need to embrace healthy lifestyle to prevent diseases such as cancers,” she said.

Obi urged government at all levels and well meaning Nigerians to reach out and help widows in the society.

She reminded the people that no one knew when he or she would die, hence, the need to show sympathy and provide succour to vulnerable widows, instead of adding to their sorrows.

The group, which gave out cash gifts and clothing, also rendered free diabetes, blood sugar, hypertension, HIV, Hepatitis B, Cervical and Breast Cancer screening to widows. (NAN)