COVID has compounded the tragedy of widowhood worldwide

COVID has compounded the tragedy of widowhood worldwide

COVID has compounded the tragedy of widowhood worldwide

A missions organization based in Texas observed International Widows Day on June 23 by pointing out how the COVID-19 pandemic has become known as the widow-maker around the globe – devastating tens of thousands of the world's most vulnerable women.

The virus that could very well have been created in China's Wuhan Laboratory has reportedly made abused and outcast widows' heart-wrenching situations even worse – bringing them to an "unbearable level" of sorrow and suffering, says the ministry.

Spreading hope in times of trouble

As one of the world's leading faith-based global missions agencies, GFA World is sharing the love of God and providing new hope for women stricken by the coronavirus pandemic through humanitarian aid and by getting the word out about their struggles through its report "Coronavirus Intensifies Hardships for Widows" – released during the annual awareness event.

GFA World Founder K.P. Yohannan – whose organization comes to the aid of thousands of widows in desperate conditions by providing food, vocational training, sewing machines to make an income and other needed assistance – has made it a focus to intensify his group's outreach to women afflicted by the ravages of the pandemic.

"The pandemic is crushing widows around the globe, and our hearts go out to each and every one of them – wherever they live," Yohannan expressed in his nonprofit group's press release.

Showing widows that God has not forgotten them is also a message that GFA World vice president Bishop Danny Punnose sees at the heart of his missions team.

"Our goal is to bring them comfort, encouragement and God's love," Punnose explained. "We want them to know that God is always with them and loves them."

COVID spreading death and despair

The heartache and grieving that young "COVID widows" in America have experienced over the past year in the midst of the pandemic is also highlighted in GFA World's report, which describes in detail the tragedies widows in various parts of the globe are enduring.

The report shows that in many areas, these abandoned women have seen their pain "multiply," as many are treated with contempt and seen as objects of shame, which is seen through a number of accounts of suffering GFA World shared:

  • Nigeria– Widows were locked in a room with their husbands' corpses and forced to shave their own heads – a ritual of shame.
  • Afghanistan– Outcast widows established their own "colony" on a hillside above a cemetery just outside the capital, Kabul, where they live in mud homes they've built themselves, disowned by their families and excluded from mainstream life.
  • Kenya – During COVID quarantine, there were reports of widows being driven out of their homes by their in-laws who considered them to be "excess burden."

The pandemic has intensified hardships around the globe to the point that the United Nations has issued a warning that due to COVID-19 deaths, women have been exposed to rejection and mistreatment by their families and neighbors to the extent that it "is likely leaving tens of thousands of women newly widowed."

With rife lockdowns fueling widespread hunger and skyrocketing unemployment, life for many women around the world as become even more difficult, forcing many widows to resort to begging and menial work just to keep themselves and their children alive.

According to the missions organization, predators have often taken advantage of the dire situations that widows have had to face.

"In some countries in Asia and Africa, new widows have barely buried or cremated their husband before someone tries to take their home, land or possessions – citing loss of property rights after the husband dies," GFA World noted.