Tag Archives: Care and Widowhood Crises.

From Care to Human Right: The Role of Education and SBCC in Managing Widowhood Crises in Nigeria (Published)

Issues surrounding experiences of widows across most third-world countries have fluctuated around care, either as an issue of human right or as privilege of culture. The issue urgently requires attention in areas of education as well as Social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) in order to manage with the aim of eliminating the injustices suffered by widows, particularly, in Nigeria. The propensity driving us to embark on this paper arises from the situation in which we have observed with regret, the statistics which reveals that globally about “115 million widows live in poverty, and 81 million have suffered physical abuse. The worldwide incidents of human rights violation of widows, such as disinheritance, denial of right to land and property of their dead spouses, absence of social safety nets and outright denial of sources of livelihood have been on the increase in Nigeria, whereas, indeed, No woman should lose her rights when she loses her husband.” (www.naijaryders.com). In order therefore, to eliminate the injustices suffered by widows globally in general and Nigeria in particular, we propose that if education as well as social and behavior change communication (SBCC) are adequately directed to the appropriate audience, they could become panacea to the problem under investigation. We have employed as theoretical background, the social Connection Model as well as global care concept as approach in examining the role of education and Behaviour Change Communication in the elimination of harmful practices against widows in Nigeria. To provide empirical framework to the paper, a limited study was carried out in Utugwang, a small town in Nigeria. This quantitative and qualitative study explored the phenomenon of widowhood in its natural setting among the people of Utugwang, an ethnic group that form a part of Obudu Local Government Area in Nigeria. The aim is to interpret, understand and explain as well as bring meaning to the issue under discussion. An open-ended interview questionnaire and a focused group discussion were employed as research instruments to elicit responses and information from key informants. Seven basic questions were raised and responses from subjects were examined and analyzed by describing the conditions prior to and after intervention using the instruments of education and communication for social and behavior change brought about, mainly by the teachings of Christianity and conscious social awareness of global care concept of modern society. We believe that this could provide an opportunity to make comparisons using the baseline study and determine where regarding the issue of the condition of widows in Nigeria, there have been progress or lack of social and behavior change on the issue. A total of one hundred respondents representing the very senior age grades were interviewed. The result of the finding revealed that education and SBCC carried out mostly by churches, non-governmental organization and the media of communication in the area have impacted positively on some efforts to eliminate the injustices suffered by widows in Nigeria. Consequently, among others, we recommend that government should make concerted effort to protect the rights of widows; while the danger of harmful treatment of widows should be introduced as civic education in Nigerian institutions of learning.

Keywords: Care and Widowhood Crises., Education, Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Social Connection Model