As part of activities to mark this year’s International Widows’ Day, wife of Ondo governor, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, joined others women across the world to celebrate widows at an event organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs.
International Widows Day is a United Nations ratified day of action to address poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries in the world. At this year’s event, 40 widows from the 18 local government areas of the state were given cash gifts to support them and encourage their economic empowerment.
Speaking at the event, Akeredolu said the government is aware of their plight and would ensure they are left alone.
“Never again, are we going to leave our innocent women to go through these inhuman practices. Never again, are we going to allow our mothers, sisters, aunties, nieces or whoever to be treated like slaves. This is why the global community of which you and I are members, is promising the widows that they are ‘never alone’ and they will never be alone.
“I want to assure our women that this is just the beginning and that the lots of women of the Sunshine State will improve tremendously during the tenure of this administration,” she said
The wife of the governor further frowned at the fact that most abuses meted out on widows are often led by women, charged husbands on the need to protect their wives through joint ownership of property, stressing that it is the duty of fathers to protect their daughters as well.
The guest lecturer, Olubunmi Arajuwa, state president, Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), traced the historical practices and plight of widows across the country, noting that the initial voluntary self-denial practiced by widows in the past metamorphosed into sharp practice that has now assumed acceptable status.