Remember the forgotten

Until a few minutes ago, I had no idea that there is an International Widows Day. That’s quite amazing. Our churches and society at large have since forgotten about this group of women in our communities, widows.

In some traditional set-ups, as soon as a man dies, his widow is ostracized and treated as an outcast. Some in-laws grab whatever material wealth they can get their hands on and leave nothing for the upkeep of the children and spouse.

International Widows Day is a global awareness day that is commemorated annually on 23rd of June. The day was launched by the United Nations in 2010 to raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows suffer after their spouses die.

Being a widow in most African homes is like a curse. After the death of the spouse, some women begin to suffer untold hardships. As if they’re being punished for having been married in the first place. Women find it difficult to mourn their deceased partners in peace as relatives of the deceased will be hovering around salvaging what they can from the home. It is quite sad, no-one has these women at heart.

The children that are left behind also need support and love. It is traumatizing to lose a parent, especially when you are a dependent. It is equally tough for a woman who had a partner to suddenly find herself having to raise her children on her own. Widows truly need support from the communities, close friends and family especially during this time of the covid-19 pandemic. Widows need to be remembered and cared for.

Come to think of it, do we have any grants for widows? Even something that has a time-frame. Would it not help the widows? Especially those whose partners were not formally employed. Just a thought. It’s time to commemorate this day, together with the international community. It’s time to remember these forgotten of our society, the widows. Every now and then, we all need to hear that everything will be okay, widows too. They need it more than most of us.

This day is next week on Tuesday, wouldn’t it be nice to do something for the widows in our midst?

Food for thought.

 

Article written by Constance van Niekerk

SOURCE: opera news hub