The First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu, has called on women most especially, to help change the narratives by properly educating the boy child towards breaking gender bias.
Mrs. Akeredolu made this assertion while speaking at the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration organized by her office in conjunction with the State Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development at the International Event Centre, Akure.
Mrs. Akeredolu while urging women to unite across social, religious and political lines noted that all hands must be on deck to change the status of women in the society.
“We all have roles to play in making sure that the status of women is improved at all fronts. We must also not lose sight of the need to strengthen the weak among us and the need to fortify the malleable ones with competent compass as they navigate the murky socio-political terrain.
“Ours is an environment where women are rarely recognised, let alone celebrated, not even when she makes equal exploits as the male counterpart. This reality has motivated us towards identifying deserving heroes amongst us and placing them on the global page for the world to acknowledge.
“This forms the hub of this gathering. I congratulate you, therefore, esteemed women, for not just witnessing another International Women’s Day but for also partaking in this epochal event that is organised to celebrate our heroes”, she added just as she acknowledged the delays, and sometimes, denials, the girl child goes through in the society and the need to change the narrative.
Giving a keynote address, a Professor of Science and Director, Women Studies and Development Centre, Adekunle Ajasin University, Prof. Adebukola Osunyikanmi while exploring the reality of gender bias experienced by women called for concerted effort most especially among women towards ending the vice.
Prof. Osunyikanmi who said women must begin to support themselves, re-orientate the boy-child and stand up against actions that frustrate women’s progress as part of efforts towards breaking the bias, further underscored the need for more women to aspire for the top, celebrate themselves and as well for the society to integrate justice and equity into school curriculum among others.
In her goodwill message, the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluwaseun Aiyedatiwa while congratulating Ondo State women, enjoined them not to be threatened by the successes of other women but to form a united front to end all biases against them.
Also giving her remarks, the Secretary to State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu said women are breaking the glass ceiling and as such women should become more focused and strive towards achieving their goals.
The major highpoint of the event was the decoration of over 20 eminent women trailblazers among whom were two notable actresses, Sola Sobowale and Omotola Jolade- Ekeinde, the first female Secretary to Ondo State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; a former State Lawmaker, Hon. Omowunmi Olatunji -Ohwovoriole; Comrade Bosede Daramola (former NLC Chairman in Ondo State); first female Ondo State Head of Service, Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole and Justice Folasade Aguda.
Other awardees include; Mrs. Tinu Olowofela, the first female General Manager of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the first female Speaker of the Ondo House of Assembly, Mrs. Jumoke Akindele; Mrs. Funmilayo Williams, Mrs. Bukola Abitoye, Ondo female entrepreneur of the year, Erelu Titilayo Ogunnubi and Ondo state woman of substance, Justice Jumoke Osadebe.
One of the awardees, Mrs. Tinu Olowofela, while expressing her happiness, thanked the First Lady. She encouraged other women to always put in their best to positively impact lives.
Earlier in her remarks, the chairperson of the Ondo State IWD 2022 Working Committee, who is also the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr (Mrs.) Adebunmi Osadahun, while noting that the purpose of the Women’s Day is to celebrate and uphold women’s achievements, commended the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for being gender sensitive and appointing women into key positions, such as the first SSG, female Commissioners, Chairmen and Councillors of Local Governments, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Board Members, Accountant-General among many other positions.