CAMEROON’S Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Family Marie-Therese Abena Ondoa said on Wednesday that deaths through armed conflict have contributed to a significant rise in the number of widows in the Central African nation.
A separatist conflict in the Anglophone regions of the country and insurgency by the terror group Boko Haram in the Far North region has increased the number of widows from an estimated 600,000 in 2018 to 1.5 million, according to government statistics.
The widows were suffering from crushing poverty and persecution, said the minister at a media briefing to launch week-long activities to mark International Widows’ Day.
‘It is important that all stakeholders come together to mobilize the community to defend the rights of widows. The ministry will continue to sensitize widows on their rights, build income-generating activities for them and help them survive legally and psychologically,’ she added.
United Nations International Widows’ Day commemorated annually on June 23, aims to draw attention toward the voices of widows.