..contributes to economic, social advancement of women – Gov Wike
..we’ll not squander opportunities to advance women’s cause in Ondo- Gov Akeredolu
Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has affirmed that the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO, has justified its purpose of establishment as a potent platform for elevating the socioeconomic status of women in the state.
She stated this during her address at the opening ceremony of 4th FOWOSO summit, titled, “Focus on FOWOSO Activities, 2022”, held at the Dome, Akure, the State capital.
She hinted that FOWOSO, founded in 2017, had helped shape the status of women in the political space, by moving away from the absurd style of engaging them as hailers to launder men’s ego.
“We found the courage of conviction, ab initio, that women deserve better, chose this route against all odds and have since kept faith.
“Five years down the lane, I am proud to announce that we have steadily progressed and there is no looking back. We have put our hands on the plough with amazing results. Our performances are both concrete and measurable; they are no less evident in the number of women whose lives have been transformed through this noble initiative “, she added.
The Ondo First Lady, while highlighting some achievements and impacts of FOWOSO, including breast cancer advocacy, skills acquisitions programmes for women, activism against gender based violence, promoting women participation in politics, amongst others, noted that FOWOSO had justified the theme of the summit, “Bridging the Gender-Gap in Political Arena: A case of Nigerian Women”, through these achievements.
“The astounding scorecard of FOWOSO speaks loudly and convincingly to the urgent need to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria’s political space”, she asserted.
Mrs. Akeredolu opined that the proposed FOWOSO Centre which was launched recently, upon completion, would provide shelter for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, saying that “it is one project that is demonstrating to the country and the world at large that women are capable of rare accomplishments”.
The Special Guest of honour and Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, CON, commended the Ondo First Lady for the FOWOSO initiative, describing it as a positive trend that contributed to the economic and social rise of women.
Addressing the theme of the summit which he affirmed to be quite impressive, Wike advocated female education and economic empowerment of women as a way of bridging gender gap in political arena.
Represented by the Rivers state Head of Service, Mr. Rufus Godwin, the Special Guest of Honour decried relegation of women in politics and governance, while calling for a break of structural barrier through formulation of policies favourable to the female folk.
He bemoaned poor statistics of number of female candidates presented by political parties for the 2023 election, and called for a legal framework that would accommodate at least 30% women delegation in political parties structure.
For women to achieve desired result of their agitation for gender balance in the political space, Gov Wike advised them to mobilise themselves to vote enmasse for fellow female candidates comes 2023 general election. He therefore donated a whooping sum of N200million to support FOWOSO projects.
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa who stood in for the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON, commended the Founder of FOWOSO, saying her passion for mankind and advancement of women and girls were second to none in the history of First Ladies in Ondo State.
He reiterated the commitment of the state government under the leadership of Governor Akeredolu not to squander any opportunities to advance the cause of women and girls.
According to him, women were known to be trustworthy and sincere in politics, and therefore, enjoined them to reciprocate theove of Governor Akeredolu by voting the ruling party comes 2023.
Earlier in her welcome address, the chairman of the 4th FOWOSO Summit Working Committee, Princess Dora Aroloye, noted that Founder of FOWOSO, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, had employed the platform to champion the cause of women, drive women empowerment and self-actualization programmes in the state since its establishment.
“Her Excellency is known within and without the shores of this country as a women’s advocate in every ramifications and she has continued to demonstrate this in all her initiatives.
“Her desire to see more women participation in politics, governance and business gave rise to her fast becoming popular phrase “reduce fila and increase gele and it’s gaining ground in Ondo State where we now have more female appointees”. She said.
The event featured panel sessions on ‘Growing a business from scratch: The 4Ps of Marketing ‘, ‘Are men/husbands to be blamed for low women’s participation in politics ‘, ‘Should we talk about sex education in schools? , ‘Fertility options in the 21st century, can a woman decide alone?, and ‘High levels of insecurity: Has Nigeria failed as a country?’.
It also featured demonstration of breast self examination by BeMore girls and Fiwasaye girls.
Special Assistant to the Governor of Ondo State on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
Dec. 7, 2022