Nigeria

FIDA: Nigeria has 8 million suffering widows

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has expressed concern over the increasing cases of rape and other violence against women and girls in Africa, describing it as alarming.

The Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) has said there are over eight million grossly disadvantaged and suffering widows in the country.

The association called for a holistic implementation of the Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Laws and other relevant statutes that protect the rights of women to rescue them from poverty and all forms of discrimination.

FIDA’s chairperson in the state, Oyinade Olatunbosun, said this in Ado Ekiti at a press conference commemorating the International Day of Widows, where the group distributed money to help some widows.

Olatunbosun appealed to stakeholders to come together to fashion ways through which widows could be assisted to earn a living.

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According to her, there is need for government to implement laws that will prevent the stripping of widows of their rights, maintaining that “widows’ rights are human rights”.

The FIDA boss said, “There are approximately 258 million widows globally out of which Nigeria has a total of 15 million, with 8 million being grossly neglected. The figures keep increasing because of neglect and governments not doing enough to protect their rights.

“The traditional and religious leaders must look after the welfare of widows in their domains and not bug them down with unnecessary traditional or religious rites that will further dehumanize them after the death of their spouses,” she added.

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