NGO Seeks Legal Reform To Protect Rights Of Widows

Off the Hook Foundation, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on government to come up with legal reforms that will protect the rights of widows.

President of the NGO, Mrs Chigbo Nwamara, made the call on Thursday at the observation of the 2021 International Widows’ Day in Umueze-Chokoneze community, Ezinihitte-Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo.

Nwamara, who is also the wife of the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Mike Nwamara, said that such reforms were necessary to protect widows from harassment which often resulted to the death of a spouse.

Speaking on the theme ‘Invisible Widows and Invisible Problems’, Nwamara lamented the tragedy and trauma associated with the loss of husbands.
She noted that widows should be cared for and legally protected.

She said that the Organisation had already begun to raise awareness on the injustice and stigmatisation faced by widows and their children.
“Widows should be respected and supported in training their children rather than being pushed away, dehumanised or deprived of their husband’s property.

“it is painful that some of these family members who are supposed to protect the women now turn around to be their tormentors.
“It is even worse when the woman does not have a male child.

“In this case, the in-laws will eventually drive her out and seize all her husband’s property, leaving her with little or nothing to fend for herself,” she said.
She, however, added that the Foundation, established in 2015, had touched the lives of over 5,000 rural widows through skills acquisition.

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She said that such support included distribution of sewing machines, grinding machines, hair dryers, clothing, food items, financial empowerment and provision of free healthcare services.

She also said that the gesture was not limited to widows but extends to vulnerable aged persons, youths and indigent families.

She said that the foundation had also acquired a parcel of land where it intended to build an old people’s home.

Also speaking, Eze Nwamara enjoined widows to remain firm and resolute in their faith in God and shun all forms of immorality capable of debasing their womanhood. (NAN)


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