Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Mrs. Bolaji Dada has called for public support to aid the plight of widows by challenging the narrative of impoverishment that society has imposed on them.
Dada made the call on Thursday at the closing ceremony of a Short-Term Skills Acquisition Programme for Widows in Lagos State, noting that WAPA had been providing soft skills for some identified widows and vulnerable members of the society as means of poverty alleviation and self-empowerment.
She disclosed that several beneficiaries emerged from its recent skills acquisition programmes, including some faith-based and cultural organisations, as well as members of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and the Anglican Communion among others.
While stressing that it was time for benevolent individuals to also complement the efforts of the State Government by cultivating a humane disposition to these categories of persons, the Commissioner implored well-meaning Lagosians to institute projects, programmes and initiatives targeted at empowering women and relieving them from societal ills.
She said: “As women gain wisdom, children learn. As women become employed, the economy grows. As women are given equality, nations become stronger, justice and equity across the board become attainable”.
The Commissioner remarked that while prejudice against womenhood provokes a large proportion of violence and discrimination against women everywhere, an act of kindness to widows also goes a long way in giving them a sense of belonging and recovery from the loss of their partners.
“Supporting widows catalyzes a developmental multiplier effect, generating wide social and economic benefits in their societies. It impacts directly on poverty, on their children’s education, gender equality, child mortality and maternal health”, Dada asserted.
She also used the opportunity of the event to implore widows in the State and across the nation to tap into opportunities to engage in profitable ventures by visiting and registering in any of the vocational training centres established by the State Government for the sole purpose of making the nation great.