The loss of a partner is devastating, for many women around the world, especially in developing countries, that loss is magnified by a long-term struggle for their basic needs, their human rights and dignity.
The pandemic has just worsened the situation during the past several months with a devastating human loss, and one that is likely leaving tens of thousands of women newly widowed at just the time when they are cut off from their usual socio-economic and family supports.
In the context of lockdowns and economic closures, widows may not have access to bank accounts and pensions to pay for healthcare if they become ill or to support themselves and their children.
Going forward widows must not be left out of our work to “build back better”. Let us ensure that our recovery prioritizes their unique needs and supports societies to be more inclusive, resilient and equal for all.
Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq and the Ajike People Support Centre recognize widows in all their diversity, and acknowledge the need to integrate them fully and visibly into our work on gender equality so that we break the cycles of poverty and disadvantage and ensure that all widows can enjoy their full human rights.
Dr. Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq advocates that the government and stakeholders develop more resources and policy to empower widows and allow them to have access to education, work, healthcare and lives free of violence and abuse in the State.