The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon has urged everyone to pledge to make widows more visible in our societies, and to support them in living productive, equal and fulfilling lives. He said this in his message on the International Widows’ Day, delivered by the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronand Kayanja, at a programme organized by UNIC Lagos in collaboration with the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC) and Hope For Life Initiative, held on 23 June 2016, at the Library Auditorium of UNIC Ikoyi Lagos.
The Secretary General emphasised that the 2030 sustainable development agenda with its pledge to leave no one behind has a particular resonance for widows, who are among the most marginalised and isolated.
Speaking, the Special Guest of Honour, the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, decried the stigmatization of widows by the society, including their family members. “Widows must have means of livelihood as well as their dependence,” she added. Mrs Ambode promised to continue to support widows to ensure they live a worthy life.
In her remarks, the Executive Director, Hope for Life Initiative, Ms. Kendi Aig-Imoru explained that the essence of the observance of the Widows’ Day was to draw attention to the plight of widows all over the world and to chart a path to mitigating their pains.
Ms Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, a renowned actress talked about her life as a widow and urged urged other widows to not lose hope but to be strong and back on their feet. She acted a monologue playlet to drive home the plight of widows after which the widows took the floor to express their pains and to share their success stories.