By Justina Auta
The Federal Government has appealed to development partners to provide support in its effort to collate data on the spread of widows across the country.
Mrs Monila Udo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, made the call while briefing newsmen ahead of the commencement of the International Widows Day celebration in Abuja.
She said that data would help to provide planning for socio-economic programmes and interventions aimed at reducing hardship among widows.
According to her, the increase of young widows in the country has necessitated the need for a comprehensive data that would enable government to introduce and implement socio-economic programmes for them.
“Nigeria is appealing to the development partners to provide data-base on widows nationwide,” Udo said.
She underscored the need for every Nigerian to take care of his mental and physical health as well as imbibe healthy lifestyle that would reduce risk of premature deaths.
She further enjoined people to develop the habit of writing a will on inheritance matters to avert crises on properties disposal among wives and children.
“You should always write your ‘Will’ in case of death to ensure wife and children are taken care as often times family disposes widows of their husband’s properties,” she said.
Udo asuured that the ministry would partner with other organisations to provide 200 widows with palliatives and digital training on economic advancement aimed at reducing their social and economic burdens.
Speaking, Sen. Betty Apiah, urged government to continue with implementation of programmes that would protect and promote women’s rights in the country.
Apiah said that the stakeholders should continue to pursue the passage of the five Bills concerning gender issues, which is before the National assembly.
According to her, the Bills included the one calling for the creation of extra-legislative-seats for women, 20 per cent quota for women, 35 per cent affirmative action in political parties administration, transfer of women’s citizenship and expansion of indigenship law.
A former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, appealed to President Bola Tinubu to ensure women are represented in his cabinet and other political appointments.
She also advised widows to leverage on opportunities especially in innovative and technology sector for their self-development in line with global trends.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other activities to mark event were interactive session with widows, training, and Life Reality and awareness programme. (NAN)