PLIGHT OF WIDOWS
Psychological depression (Naomi) got herself together “The message Bible”) example of the 46 dead soldiers wives exclamation when they were interviewed on TV, side comments by sympathizers.
Evil traditional practices
Sleeping with the corpse
Drinking the bath water
Staying on the bare floor without a mat, wearing black clothes and shaving of the hair various fines, ordeals by age grades of the late husband or daughters of the community without recourse.
Confiscations of assets, benefits of the late husband and even taking away the children from her
Desertion by Relatives: This psychologically depressed widow that was subjected to evil traditional practices is finally deserted by everybody including those that trooped in during the mourning period, she is left alone, to live alone, to struggle alone, to think alone and to take decisions alone.
Heavy Economic Burden: The resources that were contributed by two persons (husband and wife) is now carried alone by her. House rent, clothing, food, medication, utilities, education expenses, legal expenses and small savings for the rainy days are now her sole responsibility.
Loss of the protection/covering of her husband: The husband is the pride of a woman, since he is no more, she loses that pride, every Tom, dick and Harry may want to take advantage of her since there is no man to defender. (e.g Robbers that stole a widows car).
Sexual Harassment: Men start to disturb them more so when they are young. In the villages, they may yield to it in exchange of services like farming, protection etc while in government place in exchange for promotion and also protection which would not have happened if their husband were to be alive.
Neglect by Society: The society hardly take their plight into consideration when taking some harsh economic and social decision that are repugnant to their existence; e.g. in taxation, levies, sanctions, fines and penalties. They are treated like ordinary women in the society which is very wrong.
Fall in Standard of Living: Their conditions seriously affect their living standards e.g
Packing out from a superior apartment to a lesser one
Disposal of their means of mobility to a lower one or to even none at all
Not being able to attend good hospitals in preference to patent medical stores or chemists
Changing school for their children to a lower one they can afford
Food that does not recognize balanced diet
Relocation to Another Environment: A typical example is Naomi, in an attempt to adjust to the new situation they found themselves, they sometimes relocate. This in turn may cost them a lot financially; it may also take time to adjust and to gather themselves together to start afresh.
Vulnerable to infections like HIV and AIDS: Sometimes they yield to pressure by going into immoral relationships with positive HIV & AIDS patients and thereby becoming victims, many widows mostly the younger ones are highly vulnerable.
WHAT THEN DO WE DO TO ASSIST THEM
The churches should come to their assistance as stated in the book of James as a mark of true religion
Individuals should include them in their budget when they are budgeting for their homes
NGOs should form a strong network in reaching them at the point of their needs.
Government should establish a Commission to take care of their needs since they are part of the citizens of this country.
But if we fail to help them, lets not oppress them or else they will invoke Exodus chapter 12:12 and attract God’s attention to it.