Chief Administrative Secretary for Gender, Hon. Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo on Tuesday 23rd, June 2021 presided over the International Widows Day. The event which is commemorated annually was held in Gatanga Catholic Church, Murang’a County.
Taking cognizance of the integral role widows play in single-handedly fending for their children and raising their families, Hon. Dr. Jebii noted that over the years, most of the widows have suffered in silence, struggled with depression and financial constraints.
“Widows are susceptible to losing their right to property inheritance and are sometimes forced out of their homes and communities. These are injustices stemming from entrenched patriarchy. It diminishes the value of widows and hinders development,” she said.
The theme of this year’s International Widows Day is “Highlighting the disproportionate suffering of widows as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The Chief Administrative Secretary commended the widows for their resilience and determination during the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hon. Kilimo urged the audience to be privy to the plight of widows and to endeavour to protect their rights.
Globally, it is estimated that there are 258 million widows and nearly one in every ten live in extreme poverty. Widows also suffer from various forms of human rights violations including stigmatization, ostracism, homelessness, ill health and discrimination both in law and custom.
Equal rights for men and women, equal protection of property rights for men and women and equal rights within marriages are provided for within the Constitution of Kenya. In order to give full effect to these non-discrimination provisions, the Constitution also provides legislative and other measures, including Affirmative Action programs designed to address marginalised groups.
By Catherine Kamau