FOWOSO: More Women Are Now In Elective, Appointive Positions In Ondo State – Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu

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The wife of Ondo State Governor, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu says there have been improvement in the number of women in appointive and elective positions with more women emerging as Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons, Secretaries and Councillors in local government administration.

The first lady stated this at the Opening Ceremony of the Fifth Summit of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female political appointees, FOWOSO, held at the International Cultural And Event Centre (The Dome), Akure, Ondo State, on Wednesday.

Mrs Akeredolu noted that the celebration of the fifth summit signified that FOWOSO has truly come of age.

“And quite evidently, FOWOSO has done well for women in Ondo State; it has elevated hitherto lower statuses, added inches to women’s economic heights and strengthened homes through various empowerment initiatives. It has liberated minds and continues to broaden mental horizons so that women can make more informed decisions.

“Through our variously effectual interventions, we have been able to elevate the socioeconomic status of women as opposed to the dark years of tokenism and the absurd hiring of women as men hailers. Six years down the lane, women have steadily progressed; our performances are both concrete and evident in the number of women whose lives have been transformed through this great initiative,” she said.

She further disclosed that the legacy project, the Multi-million naira FOWOSO Centre and the Event Hall meant to generate fund for the sustainability of the centre have already taken a good shape.

“Between November 2022, when we laid the foundation, and now, so much has been done; and we are optimistic that, with your support, the project will be commissioned before the end of this administration and we will achieve our plan to provide shelter for vulnerable women and girls, and the victims of Sexual and Gender-Based violence in the state.

“Besides these laudable accomplishments, we have continued to complement government’s efforts in ensuring that gender-based violence remains a punishable offense in Ondo State with the aid of Violence Against Persons Prohibition’s law (VAPP),” the first lady added.

Mrs Akeredolu also noted that the theme of the 5th FOWOSO Summit, “Living A Life of Purpose”, is a purposive strategy for inspiring the womenfolk to be deliberate about growth and impact on all fronts; to always strive to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria’s political space; and to continue to work in alliance with other women toward liberating womanhood at all levels from age-long subjugation.

“As part of the 5th Summit, we have for your reading pleasure the ‘History of Bemore’ a book that showcases our girls who are increasingly becoming self-aware and responsible young women poised to positively change the narrative of the Nigerian women, and the FOWOSO calendar, a permanent feature of FOWOSO Summit as souvenirs for fundraising,” the first lady said.

She used the opportunity of the occasion to disclose some of the activities of FOWOSO in the outgoing year.

According to her, “FOWOSO members participated in the 2023 Bemore Summer Boot Camp and made impactful contributions. They attended the 2023 Summit of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) where one of our own, Mrs Toyin Adu, won the star prize, 3- bedroom flat at Lekki, Lagos state. They also partnered with the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) during the pink October as breast and cervical cancer advocates.

“To FOWOSO’s credit, the second edition of Ondo State Acquisition and Empowerment Programme (OSSA-EP) was held for the Southern Senatorial District at Ile-Oluji in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area, between October and November, 2023, and produced about a hundred brand entrepreneurs who are fully trained and equipped to translate their skills to wealth.”

Also speaking, the Senator representing Ondo South, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim advised men to imbibe the spirit of being loyal to a cause just like the woman.

She praised Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu for the FOWOSO initiative, adding that he would continue to support the development of the association.

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