By Christy Anyanwu
Ondo State governor’s wife, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has again stressed the need for women not to fold their arms and expect a change, as opportunity does not just fall on the lap of any individual but on those who are ready to learn, who are prepared and can act when the opportunity arises.
Mrs. Akeredolu made the assertion while delivering her welcome address at the opening ceremony of third Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) summit at International Events Centre, Akure.
Akeredolu, while expressing worry that women and children were the worst hit when it comes to inadequacies of health, among others, said the world was gradually recognising the enormous roles of women in development.
According to her, FOWOSO, since its inception in 2017, focuses on prioritising women’s health and wellbeing and beyond the loss of jobs, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which further exposed women to domestic violence, steps were also taken to address cases of violence against women.
Highlighting the theme of the 2021 FOWOSO summit, “Turning Around the Economic Status of Women in a COVID-19 Era,” she noted with deep concern the multifaceted effects of the pandemic on the global economy, just as she charged women not to keep quiet in the face of challenges but speak up and be a part of processes, as they are truly indispensable for sustainable development.
While thanking her husband for his support, Mrs. Akeredolu described his administration as women-friendly.
In his remarks, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, while applauding women, said no country could achieve greatness without women, as records abound of women who defied the odds and are leaders in their respective fields of endeavour.
He stated that his administration would look into ways to create synergy between the Ministry of Women Affairs and other NGOs to focus on women issues, emphasising there was no way rural economy could grow without empowering women at the grassroots.
In his submission, the governor said his administration would provide soft loans to women in order to encourage them to go into cottage industries.
He said: “I must commend the First Lady, my adorable Betty, for envisioning the five core values of empowerment, equality, advocacy, support and diversity.
“These are key success factors to achieving gender equality, which is fifth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in 2015.
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“For us in Ondo State today, the key point about gender equality is not about political correctness and …….