Widows Support Group calls on government to recognise their plight

Cllr Patrick Pillay and his wife Khatija Nabi are seen with the Phoenix Widow Support Group president, Savy Naidoo, and her members at the Women’s Day Widow Support Awareness March. They are escorted by Spring Lights Security, SAPS and Metro Police.

The Widow Support Group, led by its president, Savy Naidoo, her executive committee members, together with DLC leader Cllr Patrick Pillay and wife Khatija, held a protest awareness march calling on the government to recognise the plight of Widows during their policy decision making process within the social and economic sectors.

The march was attended by hundreds of widows who have braved the inclement weather to make a statement. The marchers were escorted by Spring Lights Security, SAPS and Metro Police.

Communitiy activist, Naidoo said that widows have become the forgotten sector of society because all spheres of government have neglected to recognise the hardships of widows. 

“We held the symbolic protest awareness march during Women’s Month to bring to the attention of all people, including government, that widows are neglected and something needs to be effectively done to acknowledge our widow’s plight. I have a great team of able people in the executive committee who really go out of their way to empower our widows in terms of their rights within the social, economic and political sectors of society,” said Naidoo.

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The Phoenix Widow Support Group has four branches and a huge membership. “Today, we march in unity without fear to send a strong message that widows are relevant. I want to also express an appreciation that we have always had the strong support of the DLC Leader Patrick Pillay from the time we have launched the Phoenix Widow Support Group in 2011,” said Naidoo.

Democratic Liberal Congress (DLC) leader, Cllr Pillay said that government does not have any legislation within the social and economic sector that provides for widow support. “Widows experience many challenges in society and many become helpless because they cannot be supported financially,” said Cllr Pillay.

“The DLC has always supported the widow support group because they are a sector that requires a lot of guidance and support. The march was successfully attended by hundreds of people. This march is the first step in establishing a pressure group to lobby government on widow support. The DLC is committed to fighting on behalf of widows in terms of legislation within the social and economic sectors,” he said.

DLC activist, Khatija said that the widow support group march was successful because of the selfless assistance of Spring Lights Security, SAPS, Metro Police and volunteers.

“Women are strong people and widows are really exceptional. Despite the social and economic challenges they face on a daily basis, without any government assistance, they always rise above these challenges,” she said. “The DLC is proud of women and this Women’s Month it is important to recognise all women and unsung heroes who always go the extra mile for the betterment of society,” added Nabi.

A bystander, Mr Jagatpaul said that he was amazed when he saw the large group of widows marching for their rights. “This was the first time in South Africa that I have witnessed a widow’s march. I am truly proud of their determination and guts,” he said.

Phoenix Sun

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