According to him, following the death of their husbands, most widows in Liberia seem to be witnessing what amounts to widespread violations of their individual rights.
Addressing a group of Widows and Less Privileged Women in Grand Cape Mount County, the Founder and Executive Officer of Liberia Widows Assistance and Development Agency emphasized the need for more support to better the living condition of widows in Liberia.
Placing specific emphasis on the recently ratified African Union (AU) protocol on women’s and widows right, Johnson asserted “widows are human beings and that they do have rights”.
“Violations after the death of a widow’s husband is one of the most wide spread violations of human right facing all women across country, culture and age levels,” Johnson mentioned.
“Thousands of widows and their dependants face horror such as early marriage, force marriage, eviction, isolation, and discrimination within the environment,” he indicated.
Article 20 of the AU Protocol for widows ratified by the Liberian government states that parties shall take appropriate legal measures to ensure that widows enjoy all human rights through the implementation of provisions that widows are not subjected to inhumane, humiliating or degrading treatment.
The AU protocol stressed that “a widow shall automatically become the guardian and custodian of her children, after the death of her husband, unless this is contrary to the interests and the welfare of the children noting that a widow shall have the right to remarry, and in that event, to marry the person of her choice.