By Mary Agidi
No fewer than 3,000 individuals have benefited from the empowerment initiative of the Forum of the Wives of State Officials, FOWOSO, in Ondo state.
Out of the aforementioned number, 100 women from each of the 18 local government area of the state have been trained on skills acquisition, 50 women from each of the local government who already acquired a skill were given working tools, while 900 undergraduates, comprising both male and female across the state got laptops within the short period of FOWOSO programme in the state.
Aside the skill acquisition empowerment, FOWOSO has served as an avenue for breast cancer awareness campaign where more than 20,000 people have been reached.
The wife of the Ondo state governor, and initiator of FOWOSO, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who gave the update of the programme during an interactive session with the media team from the office of the Special Assistant to President Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in Akure, emphasised the need to empower women economically, which was the rationale behind FOWOSO initiative.
According to her, if a woman contributes financially in a family, it will bring harmony, tranquility and peace to the union.
Mrs. Akeredolu noted that economic empowerment is the only way to develop women which will bring about less subjugation in a family, saying that majority of our women are impoverished due to lack of personal source of income.
Highlighting more achievements of FOWOSO, Mrs. Akeredolu affirmed that, through the programme, many Ondo women are now ICT compliant and exposed to the digital world.
“I can see the handiwork of FOWOSO in the lives of these women. They are now enlightened and aware of what is happening around them. Apart from self-awareness, many of them are very digitalised.
” I believe that empowerment of women is not by giving them money, but economic empowerment. In a family where husband and wife are generating income, there is less friction. We complain about subjugation because majority of our women are impoverished.
” In addition, the health of our women is very important, as we go around with FOWOSO, we go with our medical team; they take care of the sick, and the pregnant women. FOWOSO was an avenue to preach breast cancer awareness”, she said.