23rd June, 2012
INTERNATIONAL WIDOWS DAY: PAY ATTENTION TO THE PLIGHT OF WIDOWS
The world is today marking the International Day of Widows. The United Nations (UN) in year 2010 set aside the 23rd of June every year to jog the conscience of the world on the plight of widows.
There is no gainsaying the fact that widows suffer untold hardship in some cultures where there are no welfare packages for them. In some cultures, widows are abused and repressed. They are deprived of their Allah-given and fundamental rights. They are compelled to re-marry relations of their deceased husbands or thrown out of their late husbands' houses into the wild world. Some innocent widows are accused of killing their husbands and made to undergo unbearable torture.
This is aside the severe economic hardship they face at widowhood. Widows generally have been endangered species for long. They are double losers in a world dominated by conscienceless power. The victims of the abuse of widows are not the widows alone but their children as well. The latter face multifarious socio-economic challenges. Alienation and abandonment often lead to anti-social behaviours. Seeing themselves as enemies of the public, the orphans join the rising army of social miscreants thereby causing crime to rise.
Today the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls for a halt to all forms of encroachment on the rights of widows. The world must end all discriminatory practices and witch-hunting targeted at widows. It is a crime against humanity to rob widows of welfare, joy and peace of mind after losing their husbands and bread-winners.
We charge people of the world to create space in their hearts for the love of widows and to show compassion towards them. MURIC asserts that all anti-widow practices are not only anachronistic, they are barbaric and inhuman. We urge all governments and institutions to put in place legislations capable of protecting Allah-given and fundamental rights of widows. Spouses are advised to create machineries aimed at preventing women from suffering in the event of widowhood. In this regard financial institutions should evolve special programmes to which living spouses can subscribe and from which women can benefit in the event of widowhood.
Finally, MURIC reminds governments and peoples of the world to pursue the path of peace and to do everything possible to avoid war and violence. Men who die in large numbers during war constitute palpable threat to the survival of women and children.
Professor Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Professor Is-haq Akintola,
Lagos State University,
P.O. Box 10211,
LASU Post Office,
HO 102 101,
I remain oppressed untill the hungry are fed, the naked clothed,
the sick healed and the homeless sheltered