*as HOFOWEM empowers 103 widows
Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has said it was crucial for widows to understand their matrimonial rights under the law.
She made this assertion on Thursday in Lagos, during the presentation of cash and other gift items to widows by her Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Hope For Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM).
According to Bolanle, the cultural and social problems that women face upon the death of their husbands, including having access to property left behind by the deceased, had become a matter of utmost concern which needed to be tackled headlong.
“One of the objectives of this program is to properly educate and enlighten these women on their matrimonial rights under the law. We cannot pretend to be ignorant of the cultural and social problems that women face upon the death of their husbands, including accessing whatever was left behind by their loved ones” she said.
HOFOWEM empowered 103 widows with cash and various gift items geared toward alleviating their suffering and assisting them to sustain their means of livelihood.
Mrs. Ambode said the life of widows, especially young ones, was never enviable, emphasising that the overall objective of the programme was to ensure that the widows were able to live happily and depend more on themselves after the death of their husbands.
The Governor’s wife said the beneficiaries were divided into three categories, one of them being those that required skill acquisition — relatively young widows.
She said the other beneficiaries were those that required equipment support to stabilise their businesses and the third category being widows who required financial assistance to expand their businesses.
“After careful analysis, we realised that though all the widows need support, the same type of assistance cannot work for everyone because of age differences and circumstances around them,” she said.
She urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the benefits of the programme, especially for acquiring knowledge on self-reliance, economic empowerment and rights.
“It is an opportunity to help you rely on yourselves, rather than on external sources,” she said.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke, said the programme was in commemoration of this year’s International Widows Day.
According to her, millions of widows endure extreme poverty, homelessness, among other issues, while their untoward situations often go unnoticed and are not adequately captured by demographic statistics and humanitarian programmes.
The widows got relief materials ranging from deep freezers, refrigerators, generating sets, whipping machines, industrial gas cookers, grinding machines and sewing machines.