.. it’s time to celebrate ourselves, be our sister’s keeper to achieve emancipation- Mrs Akeredolu
.. let’s erase partriachial ideas from our boys- Prof. Osunyikanmi
Activities to mark the year 2022 International Women’s Day celebration in Ondo State, came to a climax today, with a first of its kinds public celebration and decoration of Female Trailblazers and barrier breakers who have excelled in various fields of endeavours despite being in a society male-dominated society.
In a colourful event, organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with the office of the First Lady, at the International Culture and Event Centre, (the Dome), no fewer than 23 Ondo Women, which cut across different political, religion and social groups were decorated as Trailblazers and barrier breakers.
In her remarks, the Wife of the State Governor, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, noted that this year’s event was epoch-making, considering the fact that Nigerian successful women weren’t usually being celebrated like the male counterpart, hence, the need for women to start celebrating themselves.
She asserted that: ” Ours is a society where women are rarely recognised, let alone celebrated, not even when she makes equal exploits as the male counterpart. This reality has motivated towards identifying deserving heroes amongst us and placing them on the global page for the world to acknowledge.
“In making our voices more audible, beyond rhetoric, and telling the world that women matter, we are celebrating these accomplished women who have grown to comparable statuses in spite of life’s many vicissitudes”.
The Ondo First Lady charged women to be their sister’s keeper in the struggle towards emancipation of the female folk, to assist the weak ones, and mentor girls, in order to ensure that women’s status improved in all fronts.
Highlighting some of her efforts in ensuring larger inclusion of women to be relevant in politics and governance of Ondo State, Mrs. Akeredolu averred that ” I have demonstrated women empowerment through the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO; I have prioritised girl child development through the BeMore Initiative, a yearly summer bootcamp that has raised about two thousand girls as experts in renewable energy and other pivotal skills.
” I have been unflinching in my stand against sexual and gender-based violence, devising the popular “Yellow Card” as preventive measure and ensuring that Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law become operative in Ondo State”.
Mrs Akeredolu, while analysing the level of discrimination a girl child is subjected to in her childhood environment, and the Nigerian society as a whole, by being treated as inferior to the male child coupled with denial of opportunities to make exploit, narrated how her late Parents shunned the belief and rather provided their children with equal opportunities.
The Keynote speaker, Prof. Mrs. Adebukola Osunyikanmi, emphasised the need for women to start raising their boys to value girls, noting that the struggle to surmount challenges facing womanhood could only yield desired goals when the partriachial ideas were erased from the minds of our boys as they age.
She said: “change their perceptions and mentality that they must always celebrate the girls around them”.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s IWD #Breakthebias, the Prof. of Political Science at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, noted that for women to break barriers and bias, they should be determined not to give room for limitations.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development who doubles as the chairperson of the working committee, Dr. Mrs. Adebunmi Osadahun, had commended the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for being gender sensitive as witnessed in the appointment of women to occupy key positions in the state.
She also appreciated the First Lady for prioritising the issues of female gender and children through various initiatives that are geared towards empowering women and girls.
Some of the celebrants include, Princess Catherine Oladunni Odu as the first female Secretary to the State Government, Chief Mrs Mobolaji Osomo as the First Female Federal Minister in Ondo State, Mrs. Bosede Daramola
as the first female Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ondo State chapter,
Miss Mary Ogung, being the first female President of National Association of Ondo State Students.
Others are, Chief Mrs Kosemani Kolawole, as the first female Head of Service in the state, Mrs. Helen Tinu Olowofela as the first female General Manager of the Nigerian Television Authority, Akure, Mrs. Janet Febi Adeyemi, as the first female House of Rep, Justice Folasade Aguda-Taiwo, being the first President of the State’s Customary Court of Appeal, Dr. Mrs.Funmi Daudu-Williams
as the first female commercial integrated farmer,
Mo Abudu as Ondo Female Media Mogul,
Mrs. Abiye Ademoyegun, as a female Philanthropist,
Pastor Mrs. Jumoke Aborode, as Ondo Woman of Substance
, Hon. Olawunmi Olatunji-Ohwovoriole, as Ondo Female Political Ambassador, amongst others.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
March 10, 2022