AWON makes clarion call to govt

AWON makes clarion call to govt on economic hardship on women, family

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The Association of Women Orientation and Sustainable Development in Nigeria (AWON) has made a clarion call to the government on what it calls economic hardship on women and family, asking government to put in place intervention strategies to alleviate the suffering of the people, especially womenfolk.

AWON, in its gathering to celebrate the 2024 International Women’s Day, with the theme, ‘Economic hardship on women and family: A clarion call on government,’ held at the Women Development Centre, Samonda, Ibadan, stated that government needs to put in place strategies to alleviate the suffering of women through interventions like business support, health insurance and food bank among other intervention procedures.

Speaking at the gathering, the Oyo State government admonished women to strive to take care of themselves so they can be able to adequately take care of the family, adding that it is only a woman that is healthy and has strength that can make a difference.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Toyin Balogun, who was represented by Mrs Igein Ibironke, urged Nigerian women to come out great in their field of endeavours and participate for inclusion in the state.

She emphasised the need for women to develop themselves in order to be adequately positioned to be qualified for inclusion.

The keynote speaker, Chief (Mrs) Grace Oluwatoye, while calling on government at all levels to end the economic hardship in the country, which, affects Nigerian women, stated that one of the effective ways to do this is for government to revive the mandate of compulsory education especially for girls as education, is the most important step towards inclusion.

Chief Oluwatoye, who is the founder of  AWON, lamented the continuous challenges facing women and failure of some state government to implement the 35 percent affirmative action.

Recalling how great women have been able to drive the country through their careers, she kicked against tokenism where women are given piecemeal opportunities in top positions and expected to take small money and sit back contended with stipends rather than a seat at the table for holistic policy-making.

She warned the government to end the poverty agenda which has been in existence in Nigeria for decades, reiterating that women should be supported in the grassroots in order to bring about development in all sectors across the country.

“There are strategies that have worked in other countries and climes that need to be employed to end this hardship on women; government must know it is its duty to alleviate hardship on women because when women are empowered, the society is empowered. Government’s intervention should include processes like food bank, financial support for business, vocational training, health insurance and farm inputs,” she added.

President of the group, Mrs Adekemi Akinade, insisted that women’s inclusion has become very poor in all areas, from the family, community at large and the country as a whole.

She called on the government at all levels to embrace women’s inclusion in governance in all sectors of the economy and canvasses for representation of the girl child in Nigeria, urging leaders to provide opportunities for women.

“In Nigeria, women are not included in decision making; it starts from the home, women should be allowed to have a say in how the home runs and on issues that affect the entire family. I appeal to the people in governance to give women a fair share, give us equal chances economically, training, soft loans and skill acquisition,” she added.

The vice president, Mrs Bola Thompson, lamented that women remain at the receiving end of poverty despite the plenty of resources available in Nigeria and the obvious fact that they labour so much to ensure the family runs smoothly and live well

She urged women to support women because it is in doing this that “women will get to the position where we dreamt about many years ago.”

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