The wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun has said that many societies largely ignores the plight of widows and that their rights are often trampled on by extended families and local traditions.
Mrs. Abiodun said this in a release to mark International Widows’s Day, a global day of awareness to address the challenges faced by widows and alleviate burdens placed on them by tradition.
Mrs. Abiodun said that today, action is needed to ensure the full rights and adequate recognition of widows.
She highlighted some of the urgent interventions to include, “providing them with information on access to a fair share of their inheritance, including lands; pensions and social protection that are not based on marital status alone, decent work and equal pay, and education and training opportunities.”
Mrs. Abiodun also said that empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing social stigmas that create exclusion in many cultures.
She also said that discriminatory or harmful cultural practices that antagonise widows and disenfranchise them should change.
The wife of the governor referred to a program for widows administered by her office and the unveiling of the “Oko Owo Dapo” initiative by Governor Dapo Abodun, which provides access to financial grants for women traders, including widows.
According to her, more than 2000 women have benefited from the Oko Owo Dapo program.
Mrs. Abiodun concluded that over the past few weeks, several widows have also benefited from relief materials to support their families.
She said “‘ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, my office embarked of the distribution of relieve items in the form of money and various food items specifically to widows and single mothers within the state.
This was to minimise the financial exposure of widows and single mothers and to ensure that they are catered for during the mandatory lock down to counter the spread of the virus.”