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Mama Zimbi Foundation hosts thousands of widows at NAWAC 2016

Multiple international award winner and cultural icon, Akumaa Mama Zimbi, known in private life as Dr. Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi hosted thousands widows last Saturday to mark the 8th National Widows Alliance Conference (NAWAC-2016) in Accra with the theme ‘Empowering Women and Men for the Future’.

Widows from places like Dambai, Kwahu Abertifi, Somanya, Agona Nyarkrom, Kasoa Bawjuase, Ho, Akwamu Mangoase, Kromante, Suhun, Abura Asiebu, Tema, Accra, Adawso, Aburi, Okumanin Kade, Kibi and others came together to celebrate the day at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra. NAWAC is an initiative by the Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF) through its Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project for sustainable socio-economic development of widows in Ghana.

It was meant for Ghana and Africa at large to appreciate the roles widows play as ambassadors of change in their communities. It also served as the ideal dialogue platform for the advocacy of a comprehensive policy and legal direction for elevating the standards of widows in the country as well as celebrating the United Nations International Widows Day.

Speakers included Hon. Dela Sowah, the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, His Excellency Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Helen Odido, Officer in Charge of UNAIDS and many others. Also present were Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewah I, (Mankrado of Gomoa Oguan), Nana Tseasewaa III (Queenmother of Gwira Akyinim, Elmina), Mrs. Elizabeth Kusi-Nsiah (Fund Administrator, Ghana Adventist Heritage Fund, Seventh-Day Adventist Church), Brigadier General Mike Akpatsu (Commander, Ghana Military Academy) and several Queenmothers.

The Founder and Executive Director of Mama Zimbi Foundation, Akumaa Mama Zimbi stated that there are increasing numbers of widows in Ghana not just because more married men are dying but because most widowers do not become widowed for long and are literally forced to remarry. Unlike men, widows are discouraged and in some cultures and even banned from remarriage. In certain cultures, the widows remedy for enjoying marriage again is to compulsorily marry the relative of her deceased husband. Mam Zimbi added that remarriage in most cases lessens the burden of the widow, in terms of loneliness and in raising her children all by herself. Therefore, young widows who wish to remarry should be giving the opportunity to do so.

Activities at the conference included singing and dancing by widow groups, mini trade fair and medical screening. Sponsors of the NAWAC 2016 were UniBank, Indomie Instant Noodles, Everpure Purified, Water, Lucky Herbal Clinic, Joy Dadi Bitters, Minata and Daughters Porridge Servings, Mobile Engineering Services, Kalyppo, Bedita Pharmacy, Bake Shop Classics , End Point Homeopathic Clinic, T.T Brothers, New Crystal Hospital, Danny’s Décor, Last Hour Catering Services, Ghana International Trade Fair Center. The event’s media partners included Multimedia Group Limited, OBTV, ATV, Media Fambern and Websoft Solutions

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