A non-governmental Organisation ( NGO),Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation (RAEF), has stressed the need for the government to initiate programmes that would alleviate the plight of widows and other vulnerable people in the society.
Founder of RAEF, Mr. Ignatius Newman, made the call yesterday at the occasion of International Widows Day, in Abuja.
Newman said that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that widows were protected and properly taken care of.
According to him, there should be policies and programmes that will take care of the overall welfare of widows and other vulnerable groups in the society.
“There should be enlightenment programmes on issues relating to their health as most of them die of diseases that can be averted if detected and treated early.
“The Federal Ministry of Health should take up the primary healthcare services to where these women can have easy access to them at a subsidised rate’’, he said.
Newman also urged the government to create skill acquisition centres where the women could undergo various training with a view to making them self-reliant.
The minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Zainab Maina, said the celebration of the day was meant to find ways of alleviating poverty among widows.
The minister, who was represented by Mrs Mary Isong, Deputy Director in the ministry, said that the day was also to recognise the contributions of widows to national development.
She said it would also ensure that widows enjoyed the rights and social protections they deserved and promote their equal participation in the society.
The United Nations’ widows Day of action is emplaced to address poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries. It is marked every June 23. (NAN)