Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) with supports from Ford Foundation today marked International Women’s Day celebration at Ilado& Oda community in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State.
During WARDC event on Building Solidarity in Communities for ending Violence against Women and girls, the Executive Director, WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode, said WARDC saw the need to accelerate advocacy for ending all forms of violence and discrimination against women and advocate women inclusiveness and for their increased participation in matters that directly affects them especially at the grassroots level.
Dr. Abiola Akiyode who was ably represented by WARDC Director, Mary George Peluola also noted that the celebrations will be held in Southwest Zones across the Six States. She further said women are working to provide support to all women to fight against the pandemic situation and also prevent all forms of gender based violence.
The Guest Lecturer, Mrs. Olabisi Omolona drawing from her personal experience, said women must identify and explore their potentials in all spheres of human endeavour.
According to her, women must come out and play key roles in politics, leadership, economy and in all that matters to them.
Mrs. Omolona who also explored key gender issues in the society noted that women have for long been silenced to accept gender roles that portrays them as weak when in the real sense of the world, they are built to lead and and be models.
While also preaching against harmful sexual practices, Mrs. Omolona charged women to speak up in the face of abuse, violence and know their rights and must of necessity take care of themselves, their children towards building a better society.
In his remarks, the Olu of Ilado, Chief J. k. Ajomole (JP) while applauding WARDC for deeming it fit to celebrate the day in the community, restated the important roles women play in the society.
Chief Ajomole who said it was high time women are completely emancipated and accorded their right of place said he was very happy that women are gradually being treated as humans as against time past when they were seen as assets to be inherited most especially when it comes to cultural practices in marriages
He also used the opportunity to challenge gender inequality as he urged women to report cases of violence against them to appropriate quarters. Chief Ajomole said things are changing as women can now seek redress from relevant authorities when their rights are infringed upon.
As part of his commitment towards giving voice to women in his community,, the Olu of Ilado announced his intention to institute a 7-woman kingmakers committee into the existing structure just as he urged the people not to discriminate against gender as both should enjoy equal rights.
The COVID 19 complaint event which had in attendance other High Chiefs, community members, civil society groups among others also featured a question and answer session.