As the celebration of the International Women Day enters Day 2 in Ondo State, the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu has called for concerted efforts among stakeholders to end violence against women and the girl child in the state.

Mrs Akeredolu made the call on Monday at the interactive forum to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, held at the Government House ground, Alagbaka, Akure.

She decried the increase in the way women and the girl-child were being molested in the society, saying that the development was not encouraging.

Addressing participants drawn from across the 18 local government areas of the state, Mrs. Akeredolu said the theme for this year’s celebration: “An Equal World is an Enabled World” is apt in every sense because women are still marginalized despite many international agreements to eliminate gender discrimination and ensure equality and dignity of men and women.

Arabinrin Akeredolu who was ably represented at the event by the Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi also applauded Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for being gender sensitive while also restating the need to entrench universal support for women in challenging poverty, reducing hunger and building a healthier society among others.

“Women have continued to be victims of rape, domestic violence and conflicts; women and girls have continued to be undervalued; they work more but have fewer choices and they experience many forms of violence at home and public places,” she said.

The governor’s wife commended the present administration in the state for being gender-sensitive in all its programmes, and more importantly, for giving women voice in governance.

She further explained that both men and women should be given equal rights and opportunities to ensure gender equality, saying that women were key agents for achieving the transformational, economic and social changes required for sustainable development.

“We must, therefore, unlock the full potentials, achieve economic independence, access necessary health services and advocate for their rights and empowerment.

“We must entrench universal support for women in challenging poverty, reducing hunger and building healthier societies’ we must also change our attitudes so that together, we can rise against all forms of discriminations against women,” she added.

Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi lauded Mrs Akeredolu for her continual commitment and support for women development saying her initiatives such FOWOSO, BEMORE, SOLAYO have had tremendous impact.

The event also featured distribution of empowerment kits to over 1000 women participated at the event from across the 18 local government areas of the state.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Lola Fagbemi, SSAs on Women mobilisation, Mrs. Ronke Ojo, Mrs. Akeju, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Wunmi Ilawole, Special Adviser on Diaspora, Mrs. Fola Olasehinde, wives of government’s officials, among others were also in attendance.