The wife of Ondo State Governor and founder of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has again challenged women to be deliberate about growth and impact on all fronts.
Mrs. Akeredolu stated this at the 5th FOWOSO Summit held today in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Speaking on the theme of the program: “Living A Life of Purpose”, Mrs. Akeredolu said it is a purposive strategy to inspire the womenfolk just as she affirmed that she will continue to advocate for more women participation in Nigeria’s political space.
Reeling out some of her achievements, Mrs. Akeredolu said that she had elevated women’s economic heights and strengthened homes through various empowerment initiatives in the state while also assuring that she will continue to complement government’s efforts in ensuring that gender-based violence remains a punishable offence in Ondo State.
“Celebrating the fifth summit signifies that we have truly come of age. And quite evidently, FOWOSO has done well for women in Ondo State; it has elevated hitherto lower statuses, added inches to women’s economic heights and strengthened homes through various empowerment initiatives”.
” It has liberated minds and continues to broaden mental horizons so that women can make more informed decisions. Through our variously effectual interventions, we have been able to elevate the socioeconomic status of women as opposed to the dark years of tokenism and the absurd hiring of women as men hailers. Six years down the lane, women have steadily progressed; our performances are both concrete and evident in the number of women whose lives have been transformed through this great initiative”, she said.
Also at the event was the wife of the presiding Bishop of Agape Christian Ministries, Pastor Funke Adejumo who also took time to challenge women to live a life of purpose with a profound understanding.
According to Adejumo, women need to equip themselves with relevant knowledge which will position them for appointive and elective positions.
She further stressed that no woman is disadvantaged for being a woman and that it was high time women stopped standing behind but should stand beside to complement the menfolk.
In his own charge, Dr. (Barr.) Jimoh Ibrahim, the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District called on women to intensify efforts in improving their educational status so as to have a place and be relevant in the field of politics.
Ibrahim, who donated N20 million to the development of FOWOSO building project, said that participation in politics required knowledge and education.
“The illiterate level of women is 76 per cent, means that women are not educated as today by the world data and it shows that 18 per cent of women are educated.
“So, women need to be encourage to leave the domestic affair a bit and strengthen their educational standard”.
“I have never seen a PHD holder that has not married, so it means that education pay women more than men if they are serious and focus on it,” he said.
One of the guest panelists, Hon. (Princess) Omowunmi Ohwovoriole while sharing from personal experiences, further admonished women to support women in order to bridge gender gap.
Hon. Ohwovoriole who also cknowledged that the FOWOSO platform is a booster for many women who now know that they have not only the structure but the backing of Her Excellency, Arabinrin Akeredolu and the entire women of Ondo State to pursue their dreams, also urge women to be ready to put themselves forward in order to have a space.
She used the opportunity to express her optimism that future elections will be better when women understand their place and power in politics.
Other major highlights of the day’s event include the unveiling and launching of a historical book on the Bemore Empowered Foundation, written by a BeMore alumnae.
In separate chats with newsmen, the Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Rural and Community Development, Hon. Babatunde Kolawole and Dr. Mrs. Olubukola Abitoye respectively congratulated Ondo State women for having such a wonderful platform as FOWOSO that imbibe confidence in them.
Dr. Abitoye who also admonished men to believe in women and support their ambition as they are are excellent managers, however tasked women to support other women to attain their goals.
The summit continues tomorrow at the Arcade Ground.