Much as child street begging has remained one of the lingering social phenomen a defying solutions within most parts of the northern states in particular, and the whole country by extension, only few northern authorities it however, seems to have given attention to the alarming growth in the population of divorcees and widows as well a as number of spinsters searching for life partners.
While Kano State, with a population figure of about 12 milliondivorcees and widows has recently announced an official estimate of over one million of such women across the state, Zamfara State, with a population below 4 million, is said to have recorded a conservative estimate of almost 500 thousand divorcees and widows, apart from the intimidating growing number of spinsters seeking for suitable partners.
Findings by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY on factors responsible for the growing number of these women in the state indicate that, both men and women, pin the blame on the menfolks rather than on the womenfolk.
Quite a number of people interviewed believe that the major reason for the alarming rate of matrimonial separations is closely linked to lack of satisfactory care to the women, particularly in respect of feeding, clothing and other needs necessary for a survival of the matrimony.
Hajiya Jummai Wakili, a renowned political figure in the state, in a chat with our correspondent,lays the bulk of he blame on the men as most cases such attitude results from inhuman treatment meted out on weak and happiess women in purdah, who hardly get even the minimum care from their husbands, adding that "after all, it is a man who has the legal liberty to effect divorce, not a woman", she reasoned.
While admitting the fact that there is currently an alarming rate in the growth of women without husbands in the state, Jummai, who is now the state ANPP women leader, claims that "if one visits most of our Shari’a courts, one will notice that 80% of the cases are matrimonial issues’, in which women mostly complain of inadequate feeding, stating that "where is the justification in a husband who starves his wife, but turns aggressive when she complains" she queried.
She, however, disclosed that the ANPP administration has conceived a plan for a very good package to assist any divorcee or widow with almost all the household needs in the event she gets a suitor, especially in a situation the couple are not in financial position to facilitate their wedding, adding that the government, which is operating in line with the provision of Shari’a injunctions, ‘is ready to provide for the beddings, clothing and even assist the husband to secure some means of livelihood if necessary’, she said.
The state commissioner for women affairs, Hajiya Bilkisu Ibrahim Ahmed, though declined to give the official estimated number of divorcees and widows in the state, however, said that the ministry is ‘continuously giving assistance to every widow that comes to the ministry in need of assistance" she said, explaining that there is actually a worrying number of such women who need attention in the state.
The state commissioner for Religious affairs, Dr. Abdullahi Shinkafi, also revealed that there are quite a number of divorcees and widows in the state, adding that his ministry is embarking on continuous preaching and sensitisation of both men and women to understand and comply with the provisions of Sharia as they relate to marriage, particularly in the of areas of adequate care as instructed by the Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet