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Rivers Women Affairs Commissioner Makes Case For Widows

FRED260216-WOM-24-300x179The Commissioner for Women Affairs Ministry, Rivers State, Barr. (Mrs.) Ukel Oyaghiri has advocated for the enforcement of “Dehumanizing and Harmful traditional Practice Law No. 2 of 2003” which abolishes the dehumanizing and harmful traditional practices in Rivers State.

The Women Affairs Commissioner made this special advocacy on this year’s International Widows Day Celebration in Rivers State.

According to her, widows are a group of vulnerable women in the world today who have lost their husbands. In Nigeria and Rivers state in particular, they are often confronted with a life of denial of inheritance and land rights, degrading and life threatening mourning and burial rites, pointing out that in some cultures, widows are treated as part of their late husbands’ property to be shared among the late husband’s siblings, stressing that this act is barbaric, repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. She added that widows across the world are faced with several challenges such as poverty, violence, segregation and harmful traditional practice to mention but a few.

“Today, we are celebrating this event with fresh understanding based on the sustainable Development Goal no. 5 “Gender Equality”. The implication is that our culture should embrace this goal and give the widow equal treatment as the widow”, saying that widows need to be supported and encouraged to survive their ordeal.

Hon. Oyaghiri noted that the society needs to identify, counsel and re-orientate widows to take their proper position in the scheme of things, noting that widows enforcement is inevitable for sustainable development, believing that with all hands on deck to support the interest and concerned exhibited by Wike’s administration, widowhood would no longer be a problem in Rivers State.

“We should enforce the “Dehumanizing and harmful traditional practice law No. 2 of 2003, which abolishes the dehumanizing and harmful traditional practices in Rivers State, urging any offender or perpetrator of these inhuman acts should be brought to justice,” she asserted.

Meanwhile her Excellency, Hon. Justice Suzzette Nyesom Wike has also appealed to society and the men to stop all obnoxious, inhuman or dehumanizing practices against widows in the society, particularly called on traditional rulers to join in stopping all obnoxious harmful practice and act against the widows.

Mrs. Wike also advised the younger widows to speak up and always take the legal option where they face dehumanizing challenges from their husbands’ families.###


Allanso Jonathan Allanso

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