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Editor's PickReps consider bill to protect Widows from abuse

Reps consider bill to protect Widows from abuse


OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives on Thursday, passed into second reading a bill to prohibit discrimination and all manner of degrading practices on widows in the country.

Sponsored by Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo) and Adejero Adeogun (APC, Ondo), the proposed legislation is intended to cure and protect all widows and vulnerable persons from all forms of abuse.

The Bill is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 to Prohibit Discrimination against Widows and all forms of Repressive and Degrading Widowhood Practices and to make Provision for the Definition of the Offence of Image-based Sexual Abuse under the Act and make Provision for Penalty for Offence of Image-based Sexual Abuse; and for Related Matters.’

READ ALSO: Why States must domesticate the VAPP Act now

Leading debate on it, Adeogun stated that ‘the Bill seeks to amend six Sections of the Act tackling issues on image-based sexual abuse. It seeks to ensure widows and vulnerable individuals are not sexually exploited due to conditions they find themselves in.’

“They are stigmatised, denied access to properties and in some cases denied access to their own children for reasons that have no place under any Nigerian law.

“Widowhood is not by choice. So why does our society criminalise the unfortunate incident of widowhood? Why are widows denied the right to mourn in peace? Why is the trauma of their loss met with more trauma rather than solace?” he said.

READ ALSO: Senate Calls for Protection of Widows

Amongst other provisions, the bill prescribes penalties for infractions against the Act and reserves the 23rd Day of May annually as a National Day for the Prohibition of Discrimination Against Widows, Women, and Girls – to help bring the problem of discrimination against widows to national attention.

A vote was taken on the Bill and was approved for second reading. It was therefore referred to the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development.

Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi has a BA in French and is a senior reporter at OrderPaper. She has keen interest in photojournalism and video documentary. She's also a writer and author of a book, "Pourquoi Le Francais." She likes reading, traveling and watching movies.
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1 COMMENT

  1. This is a welcome idea. God bless them. Widows have turned out to be shadows of themselves after the death of their husband’s. Alot will be said, children and mothers will be abandoned, Properties will suddenly be ceased, the husband’s entitlement will be delayed just for selfish reasons. In fact, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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