Category Archives: International Widows’ Day

Support widows, UN Secretary General urges

Widows DayThe 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.Widows Day 1

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.

Widows Day 2Speaking, 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.Widows Day 3

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.Widows Day 4

 

Widows cry out for help as UNIC Lagos, Partner, mark Int’l Widows’ Day

Former Chair, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri; Director UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja; Prof Grace Alele-Williams; Executive Director, Hope For Life Initiative, Ms Kendi Aig-Imoru and National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun

Former Chair, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri; Director, UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja; Prof Grace Alele-Williams; Executive Director, Hope For Life Initiative, Ms Kendi Aig-Imoru and National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun

As the world marked the 2015 International Widows’ Day on Tuesday, 23 June, over 100 widows in Lagos Nigeria have cried out for help against discrimination and social exclusion directed at widows by family members of deceased husbands.

Lamenting, Mrs Risikat Abiodun (38 years) disclosed that since her husband died seven years ago, his crashed car was sold and his family collected all the money and never showed up again to look after her and the children. For Mrs Ibidun Amusa, a 69-year old widow whose husband died 28 years ago, ‘My late husband’s family ejected me and my children from the house. I have been moving from one house to the other. We are currently homeless… as I could not pay rent as and when due. Feeding is hard and life is difficult.’

They therefore, called on all family members of deceased men in Nigeria to show love and care to widows in their families. The widows were speaking at the programme organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in collaboration with Hope For Life Initiative to commemorate the Day.

Drama presentation by secondary school tudents

Drama presentation by secondary school tudents

Earlier, the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, emphasised the need to ‘erase the social stigmatization and economic deprivation that confronts widows; eliminate their high risk of sexual abuse and exploitation; and remove the barriers to resources and economic opportunities that constrain their future.’

The Secretary General in his message presented by the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, and translated into Yoruba language by the Centre’s National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, further called for advancement of widows’ equal rights to inheritance, property, land and other assets.

Group pixDelivering the keynote address, the immediate past Chairperson of the House committee on Daispora at the House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, urged the widows to commit themselves to educating their children, adding that it would be a double jeopardy should their children dropped out or failed to attend a school.

In her welcome address, the Executive Director of Hope For Life Initiative, Ms Kendi Aig-Imoru, asserted that the challenges of widows and widowhood are challenges of all. Therefore everyone should join hands together to alleviate their hardship, abuse, discrimination and human rights violation.

The occasion was chaired by the first female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria, and a senior citizen, Prof Grace Alele-Williams.