Amid rising poverty, women group wants stipends for widows
President-General of the Battle Axe Women International, Dr. Linda Oge Okoye, has called on the African Union (AU) to make it mandatory for all member countries to pay monthly stipends to widows in their countries.
Oge, a former dean of the faculty of Dentistry in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said her call had become necessary in view of the agony and severe hardship faced by widows in Nigeria and African countries, adding that a monthly allowance for them by the ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, would go a long way in alleviating their plight and restore their hope of survival.
Addressing over 90 widows in Enugu to mark the 2019 celebration of motherhood, Oge wept openly that over 30 million widows wallow in abject poverty in the country. She made a passionate appeal to government, corporate bodies and the society to come to their rescue as part of their social responsibility.
“No matter how wealthy you are, when you are surrounded by the poor, you can hardly find joy. Joy can only come when you help the needy around you’’.
Responding on behalf of the widows, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Agbo, described the convener as God’s gift to the country, adding that her words of encouragement had given them hope. She called on other well-placed Nigerians to emulate Okoye and give a helping hand to women who lost their breadwinners, especially at a very young age.
Over 90 widows were later presented with bags of rice, clothing materials and other gift items to empower them and help reduce their sufferings.