Support system for widows

Participants at the first Widows and Women workshop with Assistant Minister for Women Veena Bhatnagar in Lautoka. Picture: SUPPLIED

Participants at the first Widows and Women workshop with Assistant Minister for Women Veena Bhatnagar in Lautoka. Picture: SUPPLIED

WIDOWS in Lautoka have been given another support system in the form of the Lifebread Stay Connected Foundation (Fiji).

The organisation aims to provide programs and training with the help of Government and community participation to equip women with necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to find useful employment or start small businesses.

The foundation through the Almanah Hope Centre yesterday held its first ever widows and women workshop which was opened by Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Veena Bhatnagar who commended the work of the group.

She said widows were a group of women who were often neglected.

“In the developing world, widows generally suffer loss of household income and assets, lack favourable inheritance rights, lack social or governmental support system, suffer violations of human rights and suffer from violence and harmful traditional practices,” she said.

“We are fortunate that those times have changed, and these inhumane practices have been chucked out the window.

“However, the discrimination might be happening in some other form today.

“We as a society really need to look around us and ask ourselves, are we really treating everyone as equals.”

She said some of the benefits available to widows included the Poverty Benefit Scheme, the Care and Protection allowance and the Social Pension Scheme.

“As a people, we need to keep developing meaningful ways of improving the lives of those who suffer the kind of discrimination widows do.”

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