Christchurch terror attack widows at a loss after death of so many men

The women left without bread-winners and family leaders following the Christchurch terror attacks are struggling, according to the founder of a charity that supports migrant women in New Zealand.

Farida Sultana, a founding member of Shakti New Zealand, recently visited Christchurch and met with local women directly affected by the attacks, of which the vast majority of victims were men.

"We met with two women, both of them - as with many Asian families  [the] man is the head of the family and the family depends on him," Sultana told Magic Talk.

"One woman said 'I'd never even gone out to buy myself a little meal'.

Sultana said many of the women will be looking to up-skill themselves and find employment. Many will also look to relatives to help fill any gaps in the family.

"Both of the families expressed that they need their son or parents, someone from their home, to be with them long term."

Sultana told Newshub that Shakti will be talking to Immigration New Zealand about how to help these relatives apply for the relevant visas to enter New Zealand and support their families.

Despite there being a difficult road ahead for many families, Sultana also said the love shown by New Zealanders, and in particular Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has led to a change in attitude from within the Muslim community.

"I think what the Prime Minister did, acting as a human being, with kindness, actually [led to]... Muslims now turning around and feeling that that is how we should be treated.

"Muslims are also feeling that we need to open up, because when you attack somebody they defend or they go more underground."

However, Sultana says people are now much more willing to talk about and share their religion with others in the community. 

"I think the mosque wasn't a place everyday people could visit, I think that door is open now, people can visit."


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