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By: Ade Adeleke
Ahead of 2020 October 10 governorship election, women from across the 18 local government areas of Ondo state today converged on Akure for one day female Politicians’ Summit organised by Association of Female Politicians, (AFP), Ondo state chapter.
The theme of the Summit held at Akure City Hall, is “Imperative and Inclusive of Women as Stakeholders in Ondo state Politics”.
The summit is to sensitise women to be actively involved and always support their female politicians to clinch public offices through elections.
Speakers at the summit charge women in Ondo state to actively participate in the state politics to contribute to sustainable social and economic development of the state and the country.
The Convener of the non-partisan organisation under the aegis Association of Female Politicians (AFP) in Ondo state, Mrs. Febisola Adeyemi, called for more equitable representation of women in governance.
Adeyemi, a former lawmaker at the National Assembly, expressed displeasure over low participation of women in politics, saying that women’s participation in politics is a necessary step to achieving global gender equality and democratic governance.
According to her, having women in key positions will solve myriads of problems in the country which will help the nation “to meet the developmental goals and build strong, sustainable democracy”
She said “the Association of Female Politicians in Ondo state is a vision created by all and we started the journey last year where we decided to critically appraise the situation of women in Ondo state.
“Obviously, we are disappointed during the last election where some women who ran for political positions were sidelined and we were so shocked that not a single woman was able to sail through.
“But when we look at our neighbouring states, and see what they have accomplished, we thought it’s high time to start building up the capacity of our women at the grassroots level and create nexus between those who are politically up there and the grassroots.”
Adeyemi called on all political parties to accommodate women in their programmes and commended the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, for living up to his promises.
She said “we will be more happy to see political parties consider more women irrespective of the portfolio they are giving them, the most important thing is to give the women sense of belonging”
Also Speaking, the Chairman f the State Universal Basic Education in the state, Mrs. Oladunni Odu, said women inclusion in democratic position is essential in building and sustaining strong and vibrant democracy
Odu noted that other states in the south west had produced strong women politicians who have contributed positively to the development of their various states.
She said “Lagos is in front line of bringing women into active politics, and it has successfully brought into limelight Mrs Kofoworola Bucknor, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Adebule, Sarah Sosan, Adejoke Orelope.
“Ekiti state, a state younger that our dear State has produced three female deputy governors, Osun has also marked its name by giving the limelight to Mrs. Titilayo Tomori and Erelu Olusola Obada.
“In the last 20 years our uninterrupted democracy, the female folks in Ondo state have only tasted the position of Speaker of the House of Assembly but never be a governor, deputy (governor) and Secretary to the State Government.”
Odu however, stressed the need for the group to come together, irrespective of their political leaning, to strategise how they can lend their voice to the struggle of women in politics.
Former Commissioner for women Affairs in the state Mrs. Omowumi Olatunji said the commitment of the group is to mobilise more women to participate in politics while she expressed displeasure at the situation of things in the country, vowing to henceforth prevent wrong people from being elected into leadership positions in the state.
She said the main goal of the group was not only to enlighten Ondo state women on political participation but also to ensure quality participation in the politics of the state.
She noted that women were still marginalized, stressing that women should be visible “and with this campaign for women participation in politics there will be improvement and in the next few years, we will be able to correct some impressions.”