The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reassured of more support for widows in the state, noting that his government will sustain programmes and policies aimed at improving their livelihoods, ensuring that widows and other vulnerable persons are well catered for.
The governor gave the assurance in commemoration of the International Widows Day, marked every June 23 by the United Nations and its sister agencies.
Obaseki noted that as part of efforts to ensure the welfare of widows in the state, his government has concluded plans to constitute the Edo State Widow Endowment Trust Fund Committee to ensure that widows and other vulnerable persons in the state are well taken care of.
According to him, “As the world commemorates the International Widows Day, it is imperative to reiterate our administration’s resolve to cater for the welfare and wellbeing of widows, who, in the African context, are confronted with discrimination on all fronts.
“From denial of inheritance rights, to being subjected to burial rites on customary grounds, the ordeals and varying degrees of abuses are numerous, as though becoming a widow is the choice of any.”
“The narrative is changing in Edo State as our commitment to providing social safety nets for vulnerable groups, especially widows in the state, is prioritized as a strategy for sustainable development and desired change.”
“As a government, we are going past mere talk, to constitute the Edo State Widow Endowment Trust Fund committee, with a view to institutionalizing widow care and protection,” he reassured.
According to the UN, “For many women around the world, the devastating loss of a partner is magnified by a long-term fight for their basic rights and dignity. Despite the fact that there are more than 258 million widows around the world, widows have historically been left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies.
“Today, as armed conflicts, displacement and migration, and the COVID-19 pandemic leave tens of thousands of women newly widowed and many others whose partners are missing or disappeared, the unique experiences and needs of widows must be brought to the forefront, with their voices leading the way.”