Mrs Amaechi Laments Neglect of Widows


As widows in Rivers State joined their counterparts worldwide to mark the 2009 International Widows Day on Tuesday, wife of the State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi, has called for a review of obscene native laws and customary practices which impinge on the interest of the widows.
Dame Judith Amaechi in a statement to commemorate the 2009 International Widows Day lamented that harmful and inhuman customary practice against the widow is on the increase, in the society.
She asserted that this inhibition has impeded the growth of widows who succumb to abject poverty due to such practices. According to her, “it is ufair that most widows who are reeling in pains over the death of their beloved husbands are still subjected to harmful practices arising from cultural and customary dictates of the society.”
The Governor’s wife described as injustice a situation where about 100 million widows worldwide are still suffering from dreadful discrimination and charged female lawmakers to rise against such situation.
“It is very sad and unforuante that about a hundred million widows worldwide still suffer dreadful discrimination including obnoxious traditional practices in most parts of the globe. Our female representative in parliament must rise to the challenge of saving the womanhood.”
Mrs Amaechi who is the founder of the Empowerment Support Initiative, ESI, a non-government organisation said that the widow requires the care and love of every one and their rights must be respected. “The International Widows Day is aimed at celebrating and intensifying campaign for the promiton and improvement of widows whose right must be respected.”
She added that the micro credit scheme initiated by the Rivers State Government is intended to empower and give them a sense of belonging.
“The Rivers State Government, realising the special status of widows began this first phase empowerment scheme with widows, with a view to giving them a pride of place.”
The Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) recently organised a soap making training for youths and women including widows and initiated a commercial tax loan scheme to cushion the effect of the death of their husbands.