By Mary Agidi
The Nigerian Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Dame Pauline Tallen has commended the initiatives of the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu which target women and children development.
Mrs. Pauline Tallen gave the commendation during her visit to the office of the First Lady as part of her trip to the state for the ongoing 19th National Women’s Council on women affairs and social development, holding at the International Event Centre, the Dome, Akure, Ondo state capital.
She relayed the goodwill message of the Nigerian First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari who, according to her, is very pleased with the reports of Mrs. Akeredolu’s programmes.
She also commended Mrs. Akeredolu for being a champion in the driving of the advocacy against cancer, and prayed that God grant her more grace to pilot the affairs of women and children in the state.
The Women Affairs Minister also lauded the effort of the State governor for the inclusion of women in his administration, while asking for more appointments for women in order to bridge the gender imbalance in governance.
She emphasised the need for girl child education, which she said tops her agenda, describing it as key in addressing the issues affecting women.
Mrs. Tallen also commended the signing of the Child Right Act by the state government, and enjoined other states to do so as soon as possible or she announce their names publicly.
“You are the first point of contact on issues concerning women and children, I also bring you good will message from the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari who is very happy with the report of what you are doing in Ondo State.
‘The ministry of women affairs is happy with what you are doing, and we commend your good works.
“You give women that sense of belonging under this administration, and children, because if a child is well protected and well groomed under a good atmosphere, he/she would perform well”, she said.
Responding, Mrs. Akeredolu noted that she has been an advocate of gender equality and issues concerning women before she became First Lady.
She stated that she is just leveraging on the position of the First Lady to further championing the cause of women, hence, the reason she initiates programmes that are aimed at enhancing the status of women and children in the state.
Mrs. Akeredolu described women as the bedrock of any move to change the society, and emphasised the need to develop strategy to increase the scope of women involvement in governance.
Emphasising the need for more women at the policies-making table, the Ondo State First Lady stated that her initiatives are geared towards broadening the knowledge base of women for self-awareness.
“We have been doing our best to come up with programmmes that will enhance the status of women and girls in this state.
” Our women are locked up in mindset about what causes breast cancer, quite a lot of misconceptions are responsible for our women dying needlessly, and it all bothers on ignorance”, she said.
She however informed the Women Affairs Minister that so many girls have been enlightened about breast Cancer and have been creating awareness that the disease doesn’t kill if detected earlier.