By Oluwatobi Omosalewa Fademi
The First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu has again stressed the need for women to rise up and play their part in the bid to contribute to socio-economic development of Ondo State.
Mrs. Akeredolu made the plea today just as she led other members of the Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) on the 7th empowerment Outreach programme to Owo Local Government where women who had earlier been trained on different skills like shoe making, bag making, bead making, soap making and other household items among others were given start up kits.
The empowerment programme which marks the seventh of such across the state took place at AUD Comprehensive High School Owo where Mrs. Akeredolu reiterated that FOWOSO was initiated so that women can be empowered to be in a position to bring about postive change.
The wife of the Governor who further stressed that women contributing meaningfully to the society cannot be achieved without empowerment, noted that till date, FOWOSO has empowered more than 700 women already across the state.
“We can join hands to play our roles by improving the socio-economic situation of the state if only women are empowered. And in order to do that, we have to set up structures. Our goal is to ensure that every woman is touched by FOWOSO activities.
What we do is to train participants on various skills and empower them with startup kits so that they can become self dependents”, she added.
In her welcome address, the Chairperson, Owo Local Government, Mrs. Mobolaji Duromola commended the First Lady for taking steps to change the living standard of women across the state.
Mrs. Duromola who further observed that within the short period of FOWOSOs presence in the state, many women have undoubtedly been re-awakened to the importance of taking the lead in the society. She noted that a lot of women and youths have benefited from the present administration.
“FOWOSO empowerment programme has also continually proved that it is aimed at enhancing the lives of women. It is quite exemplary that FOWOSO has not only improved the orientation of our women, but has also promoted women empowerment in Ondo State.
There is no doubt that the start -up tools given to women have gone a long way at reducing the level of hardship and also have enabled them put their skills into practice. Indeed, it can be said that they have not only been given fish but have been taught how to catch fish. The skill acquisition training programme that was not long ago conducted for over 1,000 women in five Local Governments Areas, which enables over hundred women and girls. Many of our youth also went home with laptop each, this has clearly shown that you indeed want women in the Sunshine State to acquire skills that will better their lives” she added.
Mrs. Duromola also used the opportunity to appreciate the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for involving women in his administration and his efforts at ensuring quality health growth of the young ones through the school feeding programme.
Earlier, Mrs. Akeredolu paid a courtesy visit to the Olowo of Owo, HRH Oba (Dr) Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi lll who lauded the First Lady for her initiative to empower women across the state.
Oba Olateru Olagbegi who also urged men to prioritize the interest of their wives observed that such move will encourage women to contribute meaningfully to the development of their families.
Other highpoint of the event was the teaching of women on self breast examination with the sekem dance and also the distribution of certificates and empowerment kits which include sewing machines, hair dryers and wheel chairs to the physically challenged among others. Free medical checks up was available to all at the venue of the event.