The Forum of Spouses of Ekiti State Officials (FOSESO) recently had the opportunity of exchanging ideas and sharing experience with the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO).
The 11th National Women Conference of COWLSO, held in Lagos, provided the FOSESO members the opportunity of mingling with their Lagos State counterpart during the three-day fiesta.
Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State, who is also the President of FOSESO, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, had led the team to Lagos for the conference, where they stole the show with their colourful headgears.
The theme of the conference is, “Women, how relevant are we?”
In her speech at the occasion, the Ekiti First Lady said that women should be commended for preserving the country’s social fabric and for holding the families together despite visible odds.
Erelu Fayemi said, “Women are the ones who give life, they are the ones who nurture, they hold family and knit it together. They hold the social fabric of the country; without women, there will be no life.”
She noted that women have been relegated in the past in decision-making and family system, which she attributed to the African patriarchy that confers undue advantage on men.
The FOSESO president said that the time was now ripe for women to occupy decision-making positions and be given access to resources in order to live life free from fear and discrimination.
She congratulated the President of COWLSO and the First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola, for the successful hosting of the conference and for contributing to the social, economic and political development of the host State.
In her welcome address, Dame Fashola said that the theme of the conference, “Women, how relevant are we?” was chosen to challenge women to appraise their role in tackling the challenges of modern society.
She stressed that the goal of the committee was to harness the potentials imbued in women to something concrete for the benefit of the society,
The Lagos State First Lady contended that the major obstacles that must be surmounted to attain the height were lack of inadequate knowledge and understanding of the challenges of the modern day.
Explaining that COWLSO was not put together for social engagements, the chief hostess stated that the committee had embarked on various projects that had assisted in alleviating the suffering of women and youths in the state.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Governor of Lagos state, Mr Raji Fashola reiterated his commitment to the reduction of poverty in the state through population control.
He disclosed that the population of the state was growing at 8 per cent per annum, with a promise to ensure that poverty alleviation programmes were given top priority in the scheme of affairs.
Reiterating the commitment of his administration to full participation of women in the decision-making in the state, the governor pledged his continued support for COWLSO in its drive to empower women.
Delivering a keynote address at the closing session of the conference, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, blamed poor leadership, misguided economic policies, massive debt and unbridled corruption for the nation’s woes.
He said this had manifested in loss of livelihoods, unemployment and a sharp rise in the number of citizens living in dire poverty.
The Governor said,
“In spite of our immense wealth as a nation, Nigeria continues to suffer tyhe consequences of poor leadership, misguided economic policies, massive debt and unbridled corruption.
If there is crisis in any community, women are affected in different ways from men and in most cases they suffer more.
This affects all spheres of development – economic, political, technological or social. Therefore, women in Nigeria have borne the brunt of the country’s misfortunes.
“Millions of women and girls in Nigeria have been rendered voiceless due to the complex manipulation of culture, religion and tradition.”
Fayemi said that the development called for a reappraisal of the country’s democratic spaces and culture, with emphasis that women possess the requisite professional credentials and ability to fix the ills besetting the country.
To be properly positioned for this role, he advised women to revisit what they teach their children, assume their place as leaders and exploit their political and social capital.
Last modified: October 20, 2011