Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun said on Friday in Ile-Ife that no meaningful progress could be achieved without women’s active participation in the socio-economic and political affairs of the nation.
He spoke at the first in the series of women empowerment sponsored by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in partnership with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Hephzibar Innovative Network.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 200 women are participating in the month-long training in the various vocations at Oba Okunade Sijuwade Memorial Hall, Enuwa, Ile-Ife.
Aregbesola, who was represented by Deputy Gov. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, congratulated the beneficiaries for being selected for the programme.
He said women should have access to education, healthcare, employment and be protected against violence.
The governor also called for active participation of women in decision-making at all levels of government.
Also speaking, Women Affairs and Social Development Minister Aisha Alhassan noted that the programme would enable participants to create jobs and help them to address economic challenges.
The minister, who was represented by Mrs Anetu Aliu, a Director in the ministry, also pledged her support for the programme.
In his remarks, Oba Ogunwusi, commended NDE, Hephzibar Network as well as the federal and the state government for their support for the programme.
“Without women life is incomplete and there cannot be any meaningful development,” he said.
Mr Olakunle Obayan, the Acting Director-General of NDE, said the monarch’s initiative was commendable as it would impact positively on the lives of the poor.
“This great initiative is unique and timely particularly at this period of our country’s history where every hand is required to be on deck for employment creation and poverty eradication,” he said.
The NDE boss thanked the traditional ruler for creating jobs for youths, women and widows to reduce poverty.
Obayan assured the monarch that the empowerment programme would be sustained to add value to the lives of the beneficiaries.
Mr Olajide Awosunle, the Chief Executive Officer, Hephzibar Innovative Network and Project Director, said the acquisition of vocational skills would further empower the women as home makers and in some families, as bread winners.
He described women’s entrepreneurial spirit as critical to the nation’s economic growth.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women would be trained in shoe and bag making, cosmetics and beads production, interior decoration, event management among others.