The day was commemorated yesterday, June 23 under the theme “Protecting Widow’s Rights, Changing The Mentality.” In-laws, family members, decision-makers of all spheres, public agents intervening in the treatment of files on reversionary pension as well as magistrates ruling on inheritance cases, have been called to act in a manner that minimises the vulnerability of widows and orphans.
The call was made yesterday, June 23, 2020 by the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Marie Therese Abena Ondoa. This was during a solemn press briefing to commemorate the 10th Edition of the International Widow’s Day in Cameroon under the theme, “Protecting Widow’s Rights, Changing The Mentality.”
The Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, in her press declaration said various actors in the society should take precautionary measures in carrying out their duties. This, because protecting widows, equally means protecting orphans. Statistics revealed that of the close to 250 million widows across the world, more than 100 million are living below poverty level. Marie Therese Abena Ondoa said many widows especially in Africa are victims of discrimination and violence of all forms, particularly dehumanizing rites and other harmful socio-cultural practices.
This is why the Minister used the event to tell Cameroonians that the theme of commemoration is out to remind everybody for the need of a behavioural change towards widows, and for people to undertake actions that will help improve the conditions of widows in the society.
In a bid to respond to the preoccupying situations of widows, the Minster of Women’s Empowerment and the Family said the government has undertaken several actions aimed at helping communities and families adopt positive behaviours in order to ensure the creation of an enabling socio-cultural environment for proper widowhood. Knowing that the Coronavirus pandemic has already plunged many Cameroonian families into mourning, Marie Therese Abena Ondoa used the 10th edition of the International Widow’s Day to express her heartfelt sympathy to all those widows whose spouses have been snatched by the cold hands of death due to Covid-19.
She also used the occasion to reiterate that all Cameroonian families observe the barrier measures prescribed by the government to overcome the pandemic amongst which are; avoid handshakes or hugs, respecting physical distancing in all public places, wearing face mask in public places as well as staying at home as much as possible and only go out when necessary.