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OGUN STATE STRENGTHENS COMMITMENT TO WIDOWS’ WELFARE


By Olufemilade Oyinade

The Ogun State Government is committed to continually ensuring that widows’ welfare is given utmost attention through various programmes, such as provision of micro credit scheme, as well as vocational training and mobile skill acquisition programmes.

The Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun made this known in Abeokuta, at the commemoration of the 2021 International Widows Day, with the theme “Invisible Women, Invisible Problem” organised by her office in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Ajose Foundation during which empowerment items such as freezers, sewing machines, grinding machines, gas cookers and burners, hair dryers, bags of rice and other items were distributed.

Speaking on the theme, “Invisible Women, Invisible Problem” Mrs. Abiodun said it was important to see to the empowerment of widows and to also give them access to required training to boost their trades and businesses, based on the challenges they face in developing countries like Nigeria which include, social stigma, suspicion and lack of right to the husband’s inheritance among others.

“Widows in Ogun state should no longer be invisible with their challenges, but be seen and their challenges addressed. The more productive you are, the more you can earn a living and take care of yourself and your family. The opportunities are many, waiting to be explored, and there are many organisations willing to support”.

Earlier in her address, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmi Efuwape noted that the Day was set aside to create awareness about the situation of widows across the world, empower them, and safeguard their rights, saying that in many societies, women’s identity are attached to their partners and after his death, elders in the family tend to ignore the challenges they face.

Efuwape added that coping with COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for many women who have lost their partners and were struggling to take care of their children, saying such compounded socio-economic issues must be brought to the fore, so that their voices could be heard.

She said the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in conjunction with the Ajose Foundation was working assiduously towards ensuring that the rights of widows as enshrined in the International laws were defended.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Bola Thomas expressed gratitude to the organisers for sparing a thought for widows in the society, noting that such programme would give them a new lease of life.

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