By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu yesterday gave out grinding machines, dryers, sewing machines and cash gifts to women across the 18 Local Governments areas of the state to form of empowerment during the official launching of forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) which is to celebrate the great work and impact of women in the society and encourage them to build upon the past working order to leave a lasting legacy in the State and Nigeria.
This is just as the Management of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) has presented an Award of Excellence in Education to Mrs. Akeredolu.
The event which was the part of the activities marking the second founders day lecture of the institution was attended by eminent personalities across the country including the representative of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Mr Femi Agagu, Education Commissioner, a legal icon, Are Afe Babalola among others.
During the empowerment programme, held at the Democracy Park which brought together women from the 18 Local Governments of the State. Mrs Akeredolu further revealed that FOWOSO which aimed at empowering wives of Ondo State officials and females political office holders will help to enlist the participation of Ondo State women in the socio-economic development of the state.
“Among FOWOSO objectives is to develop and execute programmes that would build capacity in the young and old women in this great state. We aim to stand for,advocate and create equal opportunity for the women of the State and ensure they are prepared to take charge when called upon. We are here to develop the human capital capacity of women in the State.
“As we know, only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 percent of men and we still have more men employed than women especially in skilled labour despite women outnumbering men in population statistics and living longer. The only way we can challenge this to have an impact on the economy is to change our mind set and develop the human capital of our women and also prioritise the education of our children.
“This is where FOWOSO becomes relevant. We cannot sit back and expect the government to champion these . We as wives and mothers are role models to all the females in the State. It is apparent that the glass ceiling engineered to limit women can be broken through. We owe it to our children and that their children ensure that they are effectively developed in preparing our women to be effective leaders in the economic section the society.”
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu commended the efforts of the State First Lady for organising FOWOSO initiative which help to give women beautiful ideas to succeed while urging women to give the First Lady needed support. She said” we are celebrating a great day today because FOWOSO is a great event.
” Women in the State do not need any advocate again because they have someone fighting their cause for them. I will only advise you to support her because she has good intentions for you. Though, her ideas might not be what you are used to but it is to move women forward. All you need to do is to understand and support her because one’s background inform one’s decision. “
The Chairman of the occasion, the Executive Governor of Kogi state Alhaji Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Ayoade Arike, praised Mrs Akeredolu for organising a programme to bring women across the State together. Governor Bello who observed that running governance goes beyond implementing policies added that to be successful as a governor, one must carry the people along. “There is need for informal system and contact between the government and the people. We therefore commend the idea of Arabinrin Akeredolu for giving women in the State good life.
” I will equally advise the First Lady of Kogi State, to emulate FOWOSO idea. This is a forum where women are empowered to take their rightful position and come together to champion women cause. It is a good initiative that other states should replicate.”
In her goodwill message, The First Lady of Edo State, Mrs Betty Obaseki congratulated Mrs Akeredolu for bringing together such a brilliant idea and urged women to rise up to the challenges. “I know that women are larger in population than men and it is about time women rise up to the challenge to take their place.
Also speaking, wife of the former Governor of Ondo State Mrs Grace Onyearugbulem charged women to always support their husbands as she also commended Mrs Akeredolu’s disposition, talent which she noticed have been improving the lives of women across the State. “Women need to come up empowered, and sensitised on how to take care of their spiritual and physical lives.”