The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday said it would take deliberate steps to ameliorate the challenges confronting widows in the state.
Mrs Bolaji Dada, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), made the pledge during the commemoration of 2020 International Widows Day at a low-key event held at Alausa, Ikeja.
The event was attended by the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamzat.
Dada said that the widows’ challenges would be confronted through friendly policies and women-tailored empowerment initiatives.
She remarked that widows were occasionally faced with pathetic challenges, which could be mitigated.
According to her, these challenges can be mitigated through the provisions of access to good health care, education for the children, empowerment, decent work or vocation and lives that are free from violence and abuse.
The commissioner said that the state government was determined to protect the rights of its citizens, especially women and vulnerable groups in the society.
She said the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, through her ministry, has initiated specific programmes to ameliorate the plight of widows in the state.
Dada added that the government would also empower them to be self-reliant in coping with the numerous challenges confronting them.
“For instance, last year, over 500 widows were trained in short-term skills such as hairdressing and cosmetology, event decoration, catering, tie and dye to mention a few.
“Apart from training them, they were also given starter packs to help them set up their personal businesses,’’ she said.
Dada also said that the ministry also had 18 skills acquisition centres located in various locations around the state.
According to her, this is to address unemployment, support widows, and offer economic empowerment to women and young persons.
She said that the centres offered short and long term vocational training in various skills free of charge, while starter packs are given to the trainees, in line with their chosen vocations.
The commissioner urged all widows not to engage in self-pity or lose a sense of self-worth but rather be bold to face challenges that may confront them.
“Do all you can, to boost your morale and self-worth, and hold on to God and take good care of your children.
“I pray that Almighty God will continue to sustain you and your children.’’