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Article 1(j) of the Protocol to the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights and the rights of women in Africa, accounts for “all acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life; in peace time and during situations of armed conflicts or war”
The experience of widows in Africa, especially in Nigeria, most times are better imagined than experienced. This is due to the level of illiteracy, some cultural practices and abject poverty as most widows are compelled against their will and rights into certain inhumane acts as required by certain cultures or to prove their innocence over the death of their husbands such as shaving of her hair, to sleep overnight with the corpse, to drink water used in washing the corpse, to be confined in a particular place and forced to be married by the late husband’s brother. Sometimes they are denied access to their late husband’s property and at times even their own children.
The plight of some African widows, especially in Nigeria, has been of great concern to Arm of Hope Foundation who has over the years been committed to elevating their lives and bring smiles to their faces through organizing programs on women’s right, legal aids, skill acquisition/empowerment, feeding programs and awarding scholarships to their children.
Over One Thousand, Seven Hundred (1,700) widows children are under our scholarship scheme as can be seen in our education report.
Apart from the above, AHF organizes a yearly widow’s day celebration where widows gather with their children and are given gifts, foodstuffs and clothing materials in order to give them a sense of belonging.