#Human Rights
Federal Government of Nigeria

There are about 5 – 7 million widows in Nigeria. Across Nigeria widows suffer dreadful discrimination and Abuse based on patriarchal interpretation of laws, customs, traditions and regions. Non harmonization of customary and national laws as well as non enforcement of even the existing laws for the protection of the rights of widows have rendered widows vulnerable to gross human rights abuses.

Nigerian widows across the spectrum of ethnic groups, educational and income position are subjected to eviction from the family home and the seizing not merely of household properties but even intellectual assets such as pension, and share certificates, wills, and life insurance, benefits, entitlements. This has helped to making widowhood to having a brutal and irrevocable impact on widows children. Poverty has forced most Nigerian widows’ children out of the school, exposing them to the dangers of exploitations in child labour, prostitution, early and forced child marriage, trafficking, and sale.

Many Nigerian widows due to extreme poverty, are forced to be sleeping in the open places, in market places, uncompleted buildings, struggling to survive and shunned by oppressive societies that strip them of their dignity. In Nigeria , widows suffer isolation, deprivation, abuse and are afflicted . Disinheritance of widows and denial of right to own property further help to worsen the poverty level among widows in Nigeria. yet little, still, is understood – much less done – about their plight. They are forced to suffer in silence. Network of Caring Women initiated Care Unit Meeting for Widows(a.k.a Lady Universe,) aimed at their empowerment and to work together as organized group to be in the fore front in the campaign for the promotion and protection of their rights. Network of Women sent letter to the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, the legislature and the judiciary requesting for the establishment of the Commission for Widows, and enactment of a National law for the protection of widows.

By Establishing Widows Commission the Federal government of Nigeria would used this 50th year of Jubilee in Nigeria to do what is just and right which is long-overdue, to set the oppressed widows in Nigeria free.

We, the undersigned, appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria to Establish Commission for Widows and enact National Law for the Protection of the rights of Widows In Nigeria.

Network of Caring Women(NCW) has sent letters to the president, the legislature, and the judiciary as well as others on this issue.

NCW organized widows and went on protest to the National Assembly as well as creating awareness of the injustices suffered by millions of widows and their children across Nigeria.

Network of Caring Women requested the Federal Government of Nigeria to create Commission for Widows as a central body entrusted with the promotion and protection of widows rights to run, supervise the implementation of Comprehensive Care Programme for Widows in Nigeria which would be developed during the National Widows Summit and Public Hearing.

The Summit would be used to collect relevant information, challenges of widows, concerted issues that needs to be addressed for informed decision in drafting the bill on National legislation for the protection of widows rights in Nigeria.

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The Establish National Widows Commission and Enact National Law for the Protection of Widows In Nigeria petition to Federal Government of Nigeria was written by Mercy Gabriel and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.