Updated! 3rd FOWOSO Summit ends, as women smile home with empowerment equipment

..don’t sell off, learn how to operate them, Mrs Akeredolu charges beneficiaries

..says FOWOSO has kept faith with ideals of establishment

The 3rd Summit of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO, comes to an end today with women across the 18 local government areas of the state smile home with various empowerment equipment to boost their financial statuses.

The Ondo First Lady, addressing the lucky women
Winners of Tie and Gele tying competition

At the Grand finale of the summit held at Arcade Ground Igbatoro road, Akure, the state capital, hundreds of women joyfully went back home with business tools ranging from grinding machine, sewing machine, Plasma Television, fans, among other gifts

Wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Oluwaseun Aiyedatiwa congratulating the women

In her address, Wife of the Governor of Ondo State and founder of FOWOSO, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, declared that the foundation has since kept faith with the ideals for which it was established.

The Governor’s Wife who described the summit as hugely successful, said, “We have kept faith with the objectives of FOWOSO. Our women are now more aware of their environment and they have also advanced both socially and economically; they are being productive through skills acquisition and contributing meaningfully to their homes and the society.”

The Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) was, in December 2017,
established by Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu as a veritable platform for women empowerment and sociopolitical advancement, and it has since inception held (twice) its annual summit, save for the year 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic.

While describing the summit as hugely successful, Mrs Akeredolu said everything did work out as planned. She however encouraged women not to wait until they have money to establish industries but to at least engage in small scale businesses so they could have more financial security and independence.

Anyanwu-Akeredolu said, “You don’t have to wait until you have the resources to establish an industry before a woman can do business, you can start small businesses to make a living and support your husbands in the running of the home front.”

The First Lady encouraged women to go beyond being women leaders at the party level and aspire to become councillors, secretaries, local government chairmen, House of Assembly and Representatives Members, Senators and governors of states, noting that things are already looking brighter for women in Ondo State because the governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, is gender-friendly.

“In organising a society to thrive and do well, it has a lot to do with politics. That is why women must participate in politics to be at the decision making tables. I encourage you to be part of the structure of the party.

“Our women should go beyond being women leaders at the party level and aspire to become councillors, secretaries, local government party chairmen, House of Assembly and Representatives Members, Senators and governors of states. Things are already getting better in Ondo State for our women because we have a He4She governor who is gender-friendly and believe in the emancipation of the womenfolk.” She said.

In explaining her novel slogan, #ReduceFila2IncreaseGele which means Advocating for Increase in Women’s Representation in Politics and All Endeavours, Mrs Akeredolu added that the need to get more women involved in politics is not necessarily to compete with the men but to complement their efforts and also make contributions to nation building.

In her words, “Getting more women involved in politics is not to scare the menfolk. What we are saying is that for the women who forms the 50% of the country’s population, they should be more involved in the governance of the country. It is not to fight the men but to join hands together in the determination of the future of the country.

“We also need to groom our young ones as they evolve. That is what we are doing with the Bemore Empowered Initiative, where we train girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT), renewable energy and other life-enhancing skills. Today, Bemore, since 2017, has trained about 2000 young secondary school girls mostly from Ondo, Imo, Ekiti States and beyond. Parents whose daughters have attended the Bemore Summer Boot Camp can attest to the fact that their daughters have changed to “champions of change” that I now refer to as “a new breed without greed” after the Bemore training.”

She, therefore, enjoined the women to make judicious use of the equipment given to them for economic purposes and not sell them off but to learn how to operate the machines.

In his own remarks, the chairman of the grand finale, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR, described Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, as a hegemon of Ondo State’s women, who, in ways hitherto unwitnessed, has revolutionalised the ways and worth of women through the ingenious institutional instrument called FOSOWO.

Ibrahim who said the activities of FOWOSO are effectively bridging the gender gap in Ondo State, encouraged government to give FOWOSO the necessary legislative backing it deserves so that it can be institutionalised in the state.

The Grand finale featured march-past by different women groups across the 18 local governments areas of the State, dance competition, Breast Cancer Awareness (Sekem) dance by Fiwasaye Girls’ Grammar School, Akure, raffle draw and prizes ranging from Solar home system, grinding machine, sewing machine, Plasma Television, fans, among other gifts.

Present at the event were Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, Oba (Dr.) Philip Olatunji Kalejaiye, the Odede of Igboegunrin, wife of Deji of Akure, Olori Jumoke Aladetoyinbo, wife of Olubaka of Oka land, Olori Adejumoke Adeleye, Prince Jimi Odimayo, Hon Albert Akintoye, Regents, top government functionaries, women groups from the 18 local governments in the state, including BRECAN, Bemore, Arabinrin grassroots, the physically-challenged, Corp members, among others.

Presentation of SEKEM dance, the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN’s strategy for breast self examination

Published by WonderLady

Journalist, Educationist, Writer, Human Rights Advocate

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