Sat. Apr 1st, 2023


The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Wednesday in Abuja celebrated and empowered women including widows to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD).

The Permanent Secretary, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, in his keynote address said that the global day is for us to join voices with people around the world and shout our message of equal rights loud and clear.

The theme of the 2023 IWD was “Digital Innovation and Technology for gender equality”.

Sani-Gwarzo said the theme aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67).

He added that innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age is for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

“Women rights are human rights, thus celebration of all women in all their diversities; we embrace their facets and intersections: faith, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity or disability.

“There is need to recognise the plight of the widows who work tirelessly to stand for themselves, holding unto nothing as the best part of their lives has been compromised by the uncontrollable circumstances that caused the death of their loved ones.

“Widowhood practices have continued despite laws and customs put in place to mitigate such. Today in Nigeria, widows are still being humiliated, dehumanised and abused via wicked customs, rites and rituals.

“These have subjected widows to all forms of inequality, stigma, poverty, and in some customs, widows are accused of witchcrafts who killed their husbands.

“Widows’ voices and experiences must be centred in the policies that impact their lives, it is imperative that widows speak to and make decisions about their own situations and needs,” Sani-Gwarzo said.

He explained that so far, the ministry has convened a stakeholders meeting, instituted and inaugurated a National Technical Working Group for Widows and Orphans Needs in Nigeria (NTWGWON).

According to him, the NTWGWON committee is in the process of developing a draft action and implementation plans on widows and orphans.

“Finally, in line with this year’s theme,  I believe we will be more committed to support and lead the digital process to proffer durable solutions through innovative and technological approach.

“An approach that will embrace gender equality for widows and a sustainable empowerment scheme for the social inclusion and protection of widows in Nigeria,” Sani-Gwarzo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the permanent secretary was represented at the event by the Director of General Services in the Ministry, Mr John Yakubu.

Esrlier, the Director of Social Development, Mr Taiwo Bashorun, said that while joining the rest of the world to celebrate women, the ministry is particularly concern about widows in all clusters and segment of Nigeria.

“We are here to identify with their plights and unspeakable challenges; stigma, deprivation, denial, poverty, stress and dehumanising treatment due to their vulnerability.

“I welcome every woman present here, for making out time to honour this invitation and for believing in the capacity of the Ministry to anchor and promote the welfare of widows in Nigeria,” Bashorun said.

NAN also reports that high points of the events were cultural dance performed by the Abuja NYSC Dance Troupe and financial empowerment to all the widows in the programme. (NAN)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.