The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), yesterday called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to intensify campaign on obnoxious laws against widowhood in Nigeria.
The National President, NCWS, Mrs Gloria Laraba Shoda, made the call in a statement issued to LEADERSHIP in Abuja.
Shoda decried the continuous negative customs and traditions being inflicted on widows in Nigeria while commenting on the United Nations-declaration of International Day for Widows.
“I also think that our National Orientation Agency has to work alongside the custodians of our traditions and customs to raise awareness and seek ways to eradicate those practiced against women. “On our part, NCWS will continue to provide support, talk about the problem and keep it on the front burner,’’ she said.
She advised that there was need to encourage men to write their will during their lifetime as part of measures to wipe out this behaviour towards women.
“A great part of the problem stems from the lack of a will. When a man dies intestate, it leaves his widow and children vulnerable and this leads to them being subjected to all manner of negative behaviours.
“Thus, a man should think about the future of his family in his lifetime to prevent this from happening.” NCWS believes that it is time to jettison these traditions and practices that leave widows and their children in poverty and destitution.
“Our women should no longer be exposed to such behaviour; we must be protected by the laws of our land,’’ she said. It will be recalled that in 2010, the UN formally adopted 23rd June as International Widows Day to address “injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries.” “It was clear that the isolation and bad treatment of women after the deaths of their husbands was clearly no longer acceptable”. “We must work hand in hand with our men to bring these terrible practices to an end. Women who find themselves in this situation should be treated with dignity and respect by their immediate communities and wider society,” she said.
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