Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has tasked women to shun traditions and norms working against women development in Nigeria.
Mrs Akeredolu stated this at a pre-event ceremony of the 2019 International Women’s Day which held on Wednesday in Akure, the State capital.
Speaking at the celebration which was themed, “Balance for Better”, she said that all individuals and institutions must work unanimously to create a gender balanced society, adding that this is not the responsibility of women alone. She also noted that there must be relentless and total rejection of all forms of abuse against women.
While explaining that gender equality is a catalyst for sustainable development of any nation, Arabinrin expressed her regret on the issue of women continued living as second class citizens in Nigeria, a situation, which she stressed had slowed down the substantial progress of the national development. She recalled that the present administration in the state, through her initiative, had been working tirelessly to improve the socio-economic status of Ondo state women through various empowerment programmes, stating that thousands of women across the 18 local government areas of the state had been empowered with skill acquisition, empowerment items and health information.
Mrs. Akeredolu stressed further observed that no fewer than 700 young girls had been trained to be proficient in ICT and solar technology in order to bridge the wide gap in science and technology between men and women.
Mrs Akeredolu advised women to put more efforts and actions in pursuing their goal of gender equality to logical conclusion, saying advocacy was very critical for attaining the goal.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs Titi Adeyemi, Senior Special Assistant on Women Affairs to the State Governor, said that the theme for 2019 celebration was a wake-up call to drive a gender balanced world socially, economically, culturally and politically. She noted that to achieve this , all hands must be on deck from grassroots activism to worldwide action.
Mrs Adeyemi observed that women are an indispensable segment of the society, therefore, women should press to balance for better in the society.
Her words, “let us join hands to end gender discrimination and give opportunities to gender balancing so that every woman can achieve her full potential in life.
“This can be done through reducing gender gaps in education, thereby helping women to overcome labour market disadvantages, support entrepreneurship and finance women to start or expand their businesses,” she said. Delivering a lecture titled, ‘Inspiring Women for Greater Inclusion’, Prof. Helen Ogunsuyi of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), said that a nation could only grow and develop if all human and mineral resources are harnessed.
Prof Ogunsuyi said that women are good human resources that could bring positive transformation to Nigeria. She said that there were enough women that could fit in any profession or position of authority in the country.
According to her, more inclusion of women in management, military and paramilitary and others will influence the wellbeing of the nation.
She commended the wife of the Governor’s various initiatives and empowerment to better the lives of women and change the narrative in the state in particular and Nigeria, in generally.
In her remarks, the state Chief Judge, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu, said that the call for an end to gender discrimination was all encompassing and that it included educating boys and men so that they could appreciate the rights of the women and avoid all forms of gender discrimination.
Justice Akeredolu added that affirmative actions were needed in all families, workplaces, religious centres and the society at large. The occasion also witnessed the launching of the Solayo initiative whereby birth kits would be distributed to indigent pregnant women, on the 8th of March, across the state in ensuring safe motherhood.