By Salisu Sani-Idris
Helpline Foundation for the Needy, an NGO on Monday in Abuja identified skills acquisition and financial empowerment as key to tackling the invisibility of widows.
The NGO President, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, made this known at the 2021 International Widows’ Day organised by the foundation in collaboration with Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and Make A Difference for the Needy Foundation.
She frowned at the lack of focus in the policies of government at all levels to addressing the multifaceted problems facing widows across the globe.
According to her, treating the issues of widowhood with levity means that the problem will remain unaddressed.
Ahmadu said that the NGO had trained over 400 widows on skill acquisition, drawn from the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger.
She, however, affirmed that the foundation was poised in making widows in the nation’s capital to be more productive in the society.
The president said the theme of 2021 International Widows’ Day – “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems’’, was a call to all and sundry to identify widows and make their problems visible to society.
“Among various ethnic groups, the widows are even deprived of their privileges. This theme of Widows’ Day 2021 therefore urges us to identify those women and make their problems visible to society.
“Specifically, we are here today in ensuring that widows are not only empowered but are made visible to policy makers.
“Helpline Foundation and other critical stakeholders have come to the sudden realisation that policies focus upon common citizens, labourers, jobless youth, and other suffering segments of the society but nothing is specifically discussed about widows in policy-making meetings.
“Therefore, we will continue to highlight the issues of this ignored group to make our society more sustainable,’’ she said.
The International Widows’ Day is an awareness day by the UN to discuss the hardships that widows face.
It is a day designated to highlight the problems of widows and encourage people to help widows in struggling against the challenges of life.