The Wife of Ondo State Governor , Arabinrin Betty Ayanwu -Akeredolu has revealed that women can contribute meaningfully to the economic development of a nation if given the opportunity and enabling environment to thrive.
She made this known during the First Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) Summit titled “Unlocking Hidden Potentials in Wonen:A Task for All” held at the International Event Centre, The Dome in Akure, the State Capital ,
“Let me make it emphatically clear today that it is no one’s benefit to suppress the abilities of women by denying them quality education, marrying them off against their will and confining them to the kitchen.
“The statistics are clear, nations that have risen to become world economic giant today are nations that invested significantly in their human resources, females and males alike, without bias. Everyone must be allowed to unleash their potentials without preference to any particular gender. Women can and should fully participate in engineering for the development of our country. Although, the older women have lost many years to silence and passiveness towards national development, I believe that it is not too late for them to get involved which was why we initiated the coming together of women in Ondo State.” She said.
Arabinrin Akeredolu added that FOWOSO has succeeded in building an army of resolute change makers who have ignited the cause of women empowerment for socio-economic development in the State while maintaining that the women under the platform of FOWOSO have impacted the lives of thousands of Ondo State women within one year through skill acquisition, empowerment and health awareness programmes.
“The FOWOSO women are proving to the world that women can drive economic growth in any nation. Everyone should know that Ondo women are now limitless, we are unstoppable.
In his remarks, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who congratulated all the FOWOSO members on their first year anniversary commended the First Lady for her passion at improving the lives of women across the State and assured them of his continued support.
Governor Akeredolu who went further to describe his wife as a woman of great potentials called on fellow men to support their wives so that they can attain all their purported aspirations.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Occasion and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi commended the ideas of FOWOSO and congratulated the team on their first year anniversary observing Mrs Akeredolu to be a gender activist and an apologetic feminist who always believes that women can be more if given the needed support and enabling environment.
“Since the State Governor is supporting FOWOSO, I will also follow suit because the best way to promote the society is to promote women in the society. They are the irreversible change agent in any society.” He concluded.
While presenting her keynote address, Senior Health Specialist, World Bank, Dr Munirat Ogunlayi disclosed that the wealthiest place in the world is the cemetery because greatest treasure of untapped potentials were buried there. She explained that when a person or thing has potential, people expect something good from such in the future but lamented that most of these hidden potentials were never tapped. Dr. Munirat also exposed some factors locking potentials of women and girls to include pear pressure, self doubt, decision to give in, poverty, lack of goals, lack of confidence among others while urging mothers and caregivers to train the girl-child, adequately, in other to overcome these challenges.
She further advised girls to always believe in themselves and be determined to achieve their goals as she called on the society, government at all levels, religious organisations and non-profits to rise to support women so that they can take their rightful positions.
“Women are often disadvantages compared to men in access to employment opportunities and conditions of work. Only 30 per cent women occupy top public sector. All these need to be corrected because when a woman is empowered, she knows what to do without waiting for her husband and can go places to affect not only her family but the country positively. ”
High point of the event featured goodwill messages, discussion sessions and poster presentations by representatives of the different target locations wherein FOWOSO has impacted positively.
Also gracing the event were the deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon Agboola Ajayi, the Secretary to Ondo State Governor, Hon Ifedayo, the First Lady of Ogun State, Dr. Olufunso Amosun, other government functionaries, traditional rulers and religious leaders.
Story credit: Oluwatobi Omosalewa Fadeni