• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ondo widows raise alarm over high cost of commodities

Honouring International Widows Day: A call for justice and support

As the world marked International Widows Day on Sunday, widows in Ondo State raised the alarm over the current high cost of commodities, which has subjected them to making harder choices on how many times they feed in a day, what to buy and what not to buy, with the ever-increasing rate of expenses that seem never to cease.

A 56-year-old widow and teacher at the Aquinas College Akure, Anthonia Idu, who spoke with BusinessDay on Sunday in Akure, stated that widows had been left at the mercy of society, which most of the time deprives them of their rights.

BusinessDay reports that the International Widows Day, celebrated every June 23, is a special day established by the United Nations (UN) dedicated to addressing the poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents.

According to her, all levels of Government in the Country have neglected widows, adding that widows are suffering.

Idu, who shed tears while speaking with journalists said, “It has become difficult to survive based on the current economic realities of the country as I live on the goodwill of neighbours and especially the church that I worship and I just have 4years to retire now as a teacher in Ondo state. While I know that some widows in our society do not have the strength to hustle again.

“My husband was a businessman before he died on February 4, 2016 and he left me with four children. The most painful aspect of it now is that they have given me quit notice to leave where we are living. As a matter of fact, to eat at times is very difficult for us.

“I had to borrow money to start a small business to compliment my teaching profession and see how to pay back gradually knowing that the times are hard; things are becoming difficult day-by-day.”

She stated that the economic hardship had increased her worries and made her to dig deep and seek how to care for her family of four.

Idu, who also called for an end to some cultural practices that infringe on the rights of widows in the Country, however, urged people of goodwill to come to the aid of widows in their communities.

While Mary Adu, another widow with five children, called on people who have the means to adopt and train the children of widows. She also said widows are productive and called on the Government to empower them so that they would contribute their quota to the development of the Country.

She further stated that empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing social stigmas that create exclusion, and discriminatory or harmful practices.

Adu, a pepper seller and native of Ijare in Ifedore Local Government Area of the State, demanded better facilities and opportunities for widows as a way of uplifting them and making them self-sufficient.

According to her, widows have continued to suffer discrimination, rejection and victimization which is capable of aiding suicidal tendencies in the society.