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Group decries discriminatory practices against widows

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THE Enemona Humanitarian Foundation has called on the Nigerian Government to abolish all discriminatory laws and practices against widows in the country.

Executive Director of the Foundation Williams Ilah made the appeal in a statement commemorating the 2022 International Widows Day.

“As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2022 International Widows Day, the government should do something drastic against those discriminatory laws and restore the joy and peace of widows.

“It’s no more news that widows in Nigeria go through a lot of horrible and inhumane experiences from their late husbands’ family members and the society on a daily basis,” Ilah said.

He noted that widows were often victims of sexual violence and other forms of abuse and urged the government to be more concerned about their welfare.

“Widows are still being subjected to gruesome funeral rites such as forced ‘purification’ sexual violence, rape, shaving of heads, locking them up, denying them bath; forceful taking over of their family inheritance, among others.

“It’s high time government took specific actions against members of the society who maltreat widows and their children and stand as obstacles toward widows’ peace, joy and social development,” he said.

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Illah also urged Civil Society Organisations, philanthropists and other Nigerians to protect widows and secure their dignity.

Since 2011, the United Nations has set aside June 23 as the International Widows Day to highlight challenges faced by widows and call for protection of their rights.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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