MOST African societies are known to be hostile towards widows and single mothers.
Some have been victims of name-calling, ridicule and humiliation at the hands of some misguided people.
For widows, in particular, it’s a depressing situation given that many would still be battling to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.
The husbands who used to provide them with a shoulder to lean on, whenever they cried out for support, for warmth and companionship.
Our widows deserve love and respect.
They don’t deserve to be treated as outcasts or as people who are of a lesser status, when compared to others, simply because they were unlucky to lose their life companions.
What they lost are their spouses and not their standings as human beings.
It’s said how some men believe they are easy targets to help them quench their insatiable sexual appetite.
As a society, we should be ashamed of ourselves if we continue portraying widows as outcasts, who should be abused, as and when we feel like doing so.
Earlier this week, we ran the sad story of a Domboshava widow, who claimed that she was being tormented by her kraal head’s brother, after she turned down his love proposal.
She told a Harare magistrate, during a peace order application hearing, that the man has been harassing her since the death of her husband, in 2020.
She made the shocking revelations that the kraal head’s brother has been coming to her homestead, knocking on the bedroom windows, at night.
The widow further claimed that, at one point, the man came to her house naked and tried to kiss her.
Although a reciprocal peace order was granted, this case is quite sad.
This kind of abuse is totally acceptable. It has serious psychological effects that can haunt the widow for ages.
It was not by choice that she lost her husband but the cruel hand of death dealt her the blow.
However, what is encouraging is that she had the guts to resist the poor suitor’s sexual advances.
This was probably not a civil matter but rather a criminal case.
While the Domboshava woman sought legal recourse to address the case, it should be noted that there are several widows who are being harassed in silence. There are also some widows who cannot speak out against abuse for one reason or another.
Bottling this kind of abuse has serious consequences. This has seen a surge in cases of depression and even mental breakdowns.
Instead of inflicting pain among our widows, it’s high time we treat them with respect.
The only therapy we can give them is respect and genuine love.
Preying on them, simply because they are vulnerable, is wrong and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
We need to give them equal opportunities at workplaces, communities and even in church, to ensure they feel loved.
As a way forward, widows need to be firm in their fight against abusers.
Let’s embrace widows and single mothers.