Founder of One Life Count Empowerment Foundation(OLCEF), Ogbebor Eghosa Osazee, has called on the federal government to recognize International Widows Day as a national holiday as it is done in the United States of America.
He made the call in a speech to mark the International Widows Day 2021, with the theme Invisible Women, Invisible Problems held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Going forward, he said: “If this day is declared a national holiday, there will be need for government to become sensitive to their plight and make frantic efforts in attempting to plan to solve the problems affecting widows in our country.
“Today in Nigeria, armed conflicts, farmers/herders clashes, displacement, irregular migration, kidnapping, poor health infrastructure, malnutrition, and covid-19 pandemic leaves thousands of women widowed, there is need to bring these issues to the forefront with the voices of the widow leading the way as they have been left unseen, neglected, unheard and unsupported in our society.
“On this year’s International Widows Day we want to urge the federal, state and local government to put proper system and structure in place to protect its citizenry from avoidable deaths.”
He urged civil society groups to call on the government to among others provide widows with adequate information on access to fair share of their inheritance, land and productive resources; have a data base of widows in our local, state and national level; make provision for widows in our budget to cater for their economic needs; provide widows health, pension, and social protection that are not based on marital status alone; provide widows of all ages and strata decent jobs and equal pay; provide widows adequate education (formal or informal) as well as capacity building/training opportunities and government should uphold their commitments to ensure rights of widows as enshrined in international laws and conventions especially convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the convention on the rights of the child is upheld.”