Ogun: Abiodun signs Executive Order to provide 35% representation for women in government, politics - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Saturday, April 02, 2022

Ogun: Abiodun signs Executive Order to provide 35% representation for women in government, politics

...plans to empower 100,000 women in six months

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has signed the Executive Order aimed at providing a minimum required 35% representation for women in both government and politics.  

The governor signed the Order in the presence of the Minister for Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Salamatu Gbajabiamila and wives of Ogun, Lagos, Kwara State governors, as well as representative of the wife of Osun governor, during the flag-off ceremony of the relaunching of Oko'wo Dapo Scheme in collaboration with Nigeria For Women Project (NFWP), held at the  M.K.O Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, Friday evening. 

He declared that with the signing of the Executive Order, women in Ogun would have equal opportunities to achieve their aspirations as well  explore their full potentials through the establishment of the Ogun State Women Inclusion and Equal Opportunities Role. 

"Today, I will be signing the Executive Order. This Executive Order will be the high point of today's activity and it is to demonstrate our commitment to the total and complete emancipation of women in Ogun State.

"The Executive Order is for the establishment of the Ogun State Women Inclusion and Equal Opportunities Role. This will ensure that we have the minimum required representatives of women not just only in government, but also in politics", the Governor explained.

Abiodun explained that empowering women is not a favour to their gender but one of the vast approaches towards achieving a Sustainable Economic Development, adding that financial independence is important for women who have historically been marginalized.

He disclosed that the state government would  support over 100,000 women under the Nigeria For Women Project (NFWP), which was test run in there local government areas of Odeda, Yewa North and Ijebu-North East.

He added that the programme would be extended to the remaining 17 local government areas of the state.

Abiodun noted that the project conceived by the World Bank in conjunction with five other states with the support of the Federal Government, is focusing on taking women in the state into affinity groups which is the lowest level in the community.

He explained that the affinity groups would focus on helping women in the state build social capital, as well as teach them how to come together to support each other, adding the groups would be an opportunity to further institutionalize contributions between women.

"We started with three local governments in Ogun State, one in each Senatorial district, the groups were group into 20 women per Women Affinity Group, once they exceed twenty, they form another group. In the group, they were taught to save.

"We as a state government had began what we called Oko'wo Dapo which was just an opportunity for us to financially empower our women, but, this Nigeria For Women Project has been so successful that today, 37,000 women have benefited from it in three local governments.

"We are now extending it to 17 other local government, as a government, we've hijacked the Nigeria For Women Project in Ogun State, we've taken it to the next level, we are supporting it, we are creating women affinity groups across the twenty local governments.

"We are confident that in the next six months, we would have impacted over a hundred thousand women," Abiodun noted.

The governor, who stressed that financial independence can not be achieved without education, noted that it was important for a girl-child to get educated or at least ensure that they are able to aquire skills.

The Minister for Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, noted that the only gender equality can be assured is to empower women in the society.

She, however, urged women to speak out whenever they see something wrong in the society.

In her welcome address, the First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, commended the state government for supporting the cause of women in the state, adding that "when people realize that advocating for women equality is about embracing diversity and unique values women bring to the society, then the work is half way done".

Mrs. Abiodun, while noting that mental health is key to all-round wellbeing of women, added that financial independence is an important element of ensuring the wellbeing of women in the society.

The wife of the Kwara State governor, Ambassador Folake AbdulRazaq on her part, disclosed that the Kwara State Government had signed the 33% inclusion for women in its  bid to ensure that women could stand on their own as well as create opportunities for them.

The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Mrs Aisha Ahmad represented by Mrs Monsurat Vincent, disclosed that the attendant effect of the pandemic rendered a lot of women less financially independent.

Ahmed noted that it is important to encourage women to save and invest, saying that the Central Bank of Nigeria in recent times, had come up with programmes that promote lending to women.

One of such programmes, according to her, is the National Collateral Registry which enables banks break barriers of lending to women and ensure that their personal effects are not used as collateral.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Brittania Oil, Uju Ifejeaka, urged women to works towards financial independence, but ensure they have a balanced life by taking good care of their homes.

She further urged them not to be deterred when they fail, noting "failure is a stepping stone for success".

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