NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA Defence/Security DEPOWA President pledges continuous support for military widows

DEPOWA President pledges continuous support for military widows

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Mrs Oghogho Musa, the President, Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), on Friday, pledged continuous support for wives of fallen heroes of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Musa said this at the commemoration of the 2024 International Widows Day in Abuja.

She said the day was set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness on the plight of widows worldwide and to advocate for their rights and well-being.

Musa said that widows had historically been left unseen, unsupported and unmeasured in many societies, emphasising the need to support them.

She stressed the need to bring widows’ needs to the forefront and ensure their voices are heard.

According to her, the day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by widows and the need to address their unique social, economic, health and legal issues.

“Widows particularly in developing countries, often experience discrimination, social isolation and economic hardship following the death of their husbands.

“They may face obstacles in inheriting property, accessing education and healthcare and participating in the workforce.

“Many widows and their children are trapped in a cycle of poverty, vulnerability and marginalization,’’ she said.

Musa said that the day was earmarked to honour the strength of women, their resilience and courage.

“We acknowledge the pain and the loss you have endured, but we also celebrate your determination and your refusal to be defined by grief.

“We recognise that your journey is not easy, that there are days when the darkness feels overwhelming but we want to remind you that you are not alone.

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“You have your loved ones and you have a global community such as DEPOWA that stands with you in solidarity,” she said.

The DEPOWA president recalled that the association had over the years, impacted positively on wives of fallen heroes, youths and less privileged through empowerments, sponsorships, donations and trainings.

She said some wives of fallen heroes and youths recently were trained at the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre, on bag making, ICT, production of household items, hair making, tying of gele, tailoring and culinary.

According to her, the essence of the programmes is to assist them to be financially independent, confident to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.

She reiterated the commitment of DEPOWA towards assisting the wives of fallen heroes to ensure they were not marginalised, stigmatised but celebrated and empowered.

Earlier, Dr Juliette Ango, a Consultant, Public Health Physician, said that part of the problems associated with widows included health issues, poverty, violence and finances.

Ango called for empowerment of widows and regular medical screening to check their health status.

According to her, it is so sad to say that women are known to take care of others and do forget to take care of themselves, especially their blood pressure.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event featured medical outreach for widows and empowerment lectures on health, finance and managing widowhood. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Deji Abdulwahab

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