By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu has revealed that women can contribute meaningfully to the economic development of a nation if given the opportunity and enabling environment to thrive.
She said this during the First Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) Summit titled “Unlocking Hidden Potentials in Wonen: A Task for All” held at the International Event Centre, otherwise known as The Dome in Akure, the state capital. She declared that women form the greater percentage of our population and should be carried along .
“Let me make it emphatically clear today that it is no one’s benefit to suppress the abilities of women by denying them quality education, marrying them off against their will and confining them to the kitchen.
“The statistics are clear, nations that have risen to become world economic gians today are nations that invested significantly in their human resources, females and males alike, without bias. Everyone must be allowed to unleash their potentials without preference to any particular gender.
Women should fully participate in the development of our country. Although, the older women have lost many years to silence and passiveness towards national development, I believe that it is not too late for them to get involved which was why we initiated the coming together of women in Ondo State.”
Arabinrin Akeredolu added that FOWOSO had succeeded in building an army of resolute change makers who have ignited the cause of women empowerment for socio-economic development in the state and maintained that the women under the platform of FOWOSO have impacted the lives of thousands of Ondo State women within one year through skill acquisition, empowerment and health awareness programmes.
“The FOWOSO women are proving to the world that women can drive economic growth in any nation. Everyone should know that Ondo women are now limitless, we are unstoppable.
FOWOSO according to the founder, has provoked a social change for the protection of every child, for the empowerment of every woman and for the development of Ondo State.
“We started this laudable cause and it is gaining global attention and trust. We acknowledge the support of a number of men who unlike others, decided to be regarded as “He For She”. Those are men who believe in the remarkable and limitless abilities of women and are doing all they can to ensure these abilities are maximised.
“While presenting her keynote address, Senior Health Specialist, World Bank, Dr Munirat Ogunlayi who disclosed that the wealthiest place in the world is the cemetery because the greatest treasure of untapped potentials are buried there, explained that when a person or thing has potential, people expect something good from such in the future but lamented that most of these hidden potentials were never tapped. She went further to mention some factors locking the potentials of women and girls to include peer pressure, self doubt, decision to give in, poverty, lack of goals, lack of confidence, among others and urged mothers and care givers to give adequate training to girl-child to overcome these challenges.
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