A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), WealthyGen Inc., has called for full implementation of the law on violence against women to ensure an urgent end to harmful cultural widowhood practices in the country.
The Founder of the organisation, Charity Onuaku, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Wednesday.
Ms Onuaku regretted that most cultural practices in Nigeria still subject women to multiple tragedies of loss of husbands, family rejection and denial of rights.
According to her, all these ultimately lead to untold hardship for the affected widows.
She said although the law on violence against women exists and had been domesticated in some states, it had yet to be fully implemented.
Ms Onuaku, therefore, underscored the need to give special protection to widows in the country.
She urged the government at all levels not to abandon women, especially widows, to suffer neglect and dehumanisation in the hands of their husbands’ relatives and without assistance.
“It is for this reason that I set up WealthyGen in 2018 as a gender-based NGO.
“The main aim is to uplift rural women and widows to enable them to carry on with the task of catering for their children after the death of their husbands.
“WealthyGen aims at giving education and empowerment to women.
“We also make them become aware of their rights to decent life and financial freedom, in spite of the death of their spouses.
“We have reached out to the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
“This is done through genuine contacts and wherever they are discovered, we swing into action and render our services,” Ms Onuaku said.
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She said at least 50 widows had so far been trained and empowered in Anambra and other states in the country in the last three years.
“They have to save from the little income they earn. They have to invest smartly and apply their human capital to live a good life
“I can tell you that the beneficiaries have grown and become providers for their homes,” Ms Onuaku, a U.S.-based financial expert, said.
She admonished women to see themselves as equal stakeholders in society and refrain from depending on tokenism to get their rights.