Apr 8, 2015, 12:41 PM
International Widows’ Day, observed annually on 23 June, is a United Nations ratified day of action to address the poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries.
The commemoration of the day by AFNOW witnessed distribution of sugar to the widows and their families.
The sugar was donated by the proprietor of Unity Express Foreign Exchange Bureau, Ousman Darboe.
Activities of the day included awarding prizes to individual widows and widow groups for their work in protecting and promoting the rights and welfare of widows.
Speaking on the occasion, AFNOW coordinator Buba Janneh said the plight of widows is absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, neglected by nations and local authorities, and mostly overlooked by civil society organisations.
“Yet abuse of widows and their children constitutes one of the most serious violations of human rights and obstacles to development today,” Mr Janneh said.
“Empowering widows through access to adequate healthcare, education, skills training and lives free of violence and abuse, would give them a chance to build a secure life after bereavement.”
AFNOW coordinator said creating opportunities for widows can also help to protect their children and avoid the cycle of inter-generational poverty and deprivation.
Binta Jammeh, female affairs officer of AFNOW, urged all and sundry to put hands together and provide assistance to the widows, who, she said, are marginalised in the communities.
She pointed out that in some communities widows are not allowed to inherit the properties of their late husbands.
Ms Jammeh said some widows are even chased out of their matrimonial compounds.
“Most widows are living in poverty and suffering social stigmatisation and economic deprivation purely because they lost their husbands,” she said.
Adama Fofana, a widow, thanked AFNOW and its donors for their unrelenting support towards the widows “in many different ways”.
AFNOW is charged with the responsibility of looking after the welfare of orphans, the needy and widows.