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State urged to formulate policies that protect widows

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The women appealed to the government to consider putting forth friendly policies and resolutions protecting widows to alleviate their suffering. FILE PHOTO

More than 500 widows from Bahati sub-county have called on the Government to prioritize access to justice for widows who often face challenges in accessing their fair share of inheritance, land, pension and social protection.

Speaking in Kabazi during the commemoration of the International Widows Day, the widows also urged the government to set up a fund to support widows across the 47 counties.

Pastor Mary Mutavi the founder of Tabernacle Widows home called for enhanced access to justice to ensure widows are economically empowered.

Pastor Mutavi urged the government to look more keenly into their suffering and ways of alleviating the difficulties they face throughout their lives.

She emphasized that a widow needs empowerment and opportunities, not sympathy.

Pastor Mutavi Said many Kenyan women face challenges like retrogressive cultural practices and a largely patriarchal society that seems oblivious to their suffering.

She added economic insecurity, social isolation plus physical and emotional abuse make them vulnerable to exploitation and marginalization.

Pastor Mutavi also asked families and local communities to embrace widows and reject harmful traditions.

Some of the blind persons like Regina Lemarasire and Penninah Wanjugu narrated some of the challenges they faced after the death of their husbands.

Lemarasire said cases of widows being denied their right to inheritance, especially land, have been rampant.

The women appealed to the government to consider putting forth friendly policies and resolutions protecting widows to alleviate their suffering.

On her per Wanjugu noted that some widows do not know their rights, leading to many inheritance cases being thrown out. She added that many tend to give in to pressure due to stigma and that is why organisations like Tabernacle Homen for widows need to provide social capital that they desperately need.

She regretted that many widows in Africa do not have the same inheritance rights as their male counterparts, which means they are normally stripped off their land, property, rights and access to their own children.

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