Acquiring acceptable level of modern education, marrying a spouse who believes in one’s dreams, and effective family planning mechanism have been identified as prerequisites for women to achieve work-life balance.
Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, gave the above submission on Sunday while speaking on ‘Work-life Balance: Succeeding in All’, at the Women in Business Summit, held at Dejavu hotel Alagbaka Akure, the State Capital.
Mrs Akeredolu who defined work-life Balance as an ability to distribute time between work, family and personal life without one affecting the other, bemoaned the man-made sociocultural prejudices that had, overtime taken the shape of anti-women traditions.
Nevertheless, the Ondo First Lady and girl-child development and women empowerment advocate, was optimistic that achieving a workload balance is plausible as she provided some tips for young career women, which include adequate planning before venturing into marriage, by acquiring acceptable level of education and entrepreneurial skills, ability to communicate effectively when in need or challenges.
“In achieving work-life balance, a whole lot depends on self-identification and the personality of the partner a woman chooses for herself. Tough as the society makes it for the woman, the person of her partner can make a whole difference in her strife for balance, and this requires that we become deliberate about our choices”. She said .
For a woman not to be perpetually dependent , the Ondo First Lady advised starting with small business in a situation where white collar job is not available. “I have said this for the umpteenth time that women do not have to wait until they are rich enough to establish an industry before they can do business. You can start small businesses to make a living and support your husbands in the running of the home front. And you can be sure that this would at least give you a level of respect and self worth” she added.
Reiterating her commitment to the development and advancement of socioeconomic status of women, the Ondo First Lady narrated how she took a bold step to form Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO, in 2017 as a platform to empower women through skills acquisition.
She maintained that her passion for women and girl’s development was to ensure that women were reorientated to think differently and be free from being willing tools in the hands of romantic oppressors.
“I considered it as rather demeaning that women offered themselves as cheap instrument for political tokenism. I saw the urgent need to advance the socioeconomic status of women by empowering them through skills acquisition so that their sense of self worth could be enhanced and they could become financially fit to play critical economic roles on the home front and beyond it.
“It was an ideological warfare, and setting out, I realised how difficult it could prove to attempt to change the perception of a people that were already acculturated to playing the accessorial role, but I was determined to get result. I was poised to show practical difference between true progressivisim and disguised stagnation. Five years on, the result has been great, women in their thousands have been empowered across the 18 local government areas of the state”, she averred.
Encouraging the young womenpreneurs of the possibility to achieve work-life balance and be more than what the society has for them, she hinted that her BeMore Empowered Girls Foundation was aimed at grooming young girls to evolve and fortify them ahead of these challenges facing womenfolks in our society.
“At BeMore, we train girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT), renewable energy and other life-enhancing skills. Since established in 2017,the scheme has trained over 2000 secondary girls mostly from different parts of the country. Parents or Guardians whose daughters have attended the Bemore Summer Bootcamp can attest to the fact that their daughters have become change agents ; those I called “a new breed without greed”.
She commended the Organisers of the summit for encouraging entrepreneurship , noting that opportunities abound in Nigeria if our youths could tap into them rather than running out of the country in search of a greener pasture.
Highlights of the summit included talks on navigating the sales and client retention funnel in the 21st century by Mrs Damilola Asaleye, co-founder of Ashdam Solar Academy; presentation of award of recognition to Her Excellency and Art portrait by a BeMore Summer Bootcamp graduate.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
Sept. 25, 2022.