The Osun State governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration will continue to provide opportunities for women to express themselves within the political space.
The governor stated this at the 2022 International Women’s Day ceremony and the launch of the State Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy in Osogbo.
Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi, said it was a call to action for women, without subscribing to any limiting sentiment or fear, to actively engage and participate in the political process in order to influence inclusive decision making.
He urged women not to be satisfied being mere tools for political patronage but they should be encouraged and reach for positions of authority, through which they will be able to deploy their innate passion and expertise in delivering good governance to the teeming citizens.
“While I urge our women to be inspired by this year’s theme, and rightfully seek to assert their roles as critical stakeholders in the political space, I urge my male counterparts to jettison, in the interest of our collective prosperity, biases that have consistently shut the door against the interest and participation of our women.
“At the same time, I would like to particularly challenge our women to courageously deepen their participation and appropriate the strength of their numbers for political bargains and to challenge the status quo”, Oyetola said.
In her address, the wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, said women should not expect to be gifted governance and political participation just because they are of the female gender.
Mrs Oyetola advised women to develop themselves and be women of content, character and capacity for them to be recognized in the nation’s political arena.
Speaking on the theme, of International Women’s Day, #BreakTheBias, Mrs Oyetola noted that the theme can only be achieved if women individually and collectively work together to break every form of bias against the female gender.
“This is the time to break every form of bias, stereotypes and discrimination against women. If we are to evolve a state that guarantees sustainable development and better tomorrow, we must break the bias and make our women active stakeholders in political, economic and social decision-making processes. This need is no longer debatable. Countries that are making progress have taken this for granted”, she said.
In her remark, the wife of the late former governor of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, encouraged women to stand firm to ensure gender equality in the political sphere.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Osun State Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Bukola Olaboopo had advised women to take proactive steps to break the gender biases at homes, offices, religion and culture.
The highlight of the programme is the launching of the State Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy which further accentuate the determination of the present administration to make Osun a better place for men and women to live together and improve their living conditions.