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Women’s contributions to the growth and development of a society cannot be overemphasized, this attest to the general says that “If you train a woman, you’ve trained a nation”, this is the opinions of some major stakeholders gathered in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state on Friday to celebrate the year 2024 International Women’s Day.

At an event organized by APIN Public Initiative to commemorate International Women’s Day 2024 held at APIN Office Bodija Ibadan, with the theme “Inspire Inclusion”, some concerned stakeholders called for more women’s inclusion in governance towards achieving a better society for all and sundry.

Speaking with journalists at the event, Mrs Ola Thomson, Gender Lead for APIN Public Health Initiative stressed that International Women’s Day is a day set aside worldwide for people, community, nations to garner support for the cause of women. She noted that the event was organized to critically look into many areas where there is need to raise voice for women support.

She said, “today we are focusing on women equity, and making sure that women are involved, women are included where decisions are being made, women are not exempted from where the decisions that concerned their lives are being made.”

“So today we talked about everything that has to do with women, we discussed everything about their reproductive health, about empowerment of women, about self development of women, so it’s all about creating more awareness and sensitize people and at least use the day to focus on the cause of women, and a lot of things that concerns about women’s growth and development as related to our society at large.” Ola said.

While speaking about the theme of the event “Inspire Inclusion”, Mrs Ola Thomas said, “to inspire Inclusion, education is very important, to me I refer to education as the key to other aspects of our lives, if you’re educated you get more knowledge, you will be well informed ahead of others, know more than you supposed to know, and also to pursue a fruitful carrier.”

“To start with education, women also need enough knowledge to trade in today’s business world, so education is key, so when we are talking about inclusion like I said earlier, the decisions that concern nations, the decision that concerns families, decisions that concerns people, women should not be exempted, knowing fully well that women play crucial roles in home building, nation development and building the lives of the young ones, our adolescents and young people, our children are under the care of our women, and whatever they train them is what we will have in our society, and that’s why this says that if you train a woman you’ve trained a nation, so if women are included where they’re making decisions the society will be a better place for everyone of us.” Ola said.

In his remarks, Oyo state Attorney General and Honorable Commissioner for Justice, Mr Abiodun Aikomo who was ably represented at the event by Mrs Ademola Salami, the Deputy Director at the state Ministry of Justice, noted that Governor Seyi Makinde priorities women inclusion in governance. Stressing that the Governor is found of saying that inclusion of women in all spheres of life is very important for the development of the society.

“Women is not only about equality, our inclusion in all spheres of life such as economic and political spheres of life Is for the progress of the society, anywhere we don’t have a women there will definitely be some lapses, so inclusion of women is highly important.”

“My message to women generally is availability, we should always make ourselves available, we should be ready and be willing whenever we’re called upon, women should always prepare for  opportunity to serve, they should be ready whenever they’re called upon, women we should try and support themselves, women are number one enemy of themselves in this society and it’s so sad, we should start supporting ourselves by giving a voice, if we see our fellow women doing great things we should always try to support them.” Aikomo said.

In her words, the Assistant Commandant of Corps Aloa Victoria, Area Commandant for Area A, representing the state Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Augustine Padonu, said, “It’s time we need to make ourselves available for opportunities that will brings endless opportunities on our ways.

“When we’re clamouring for more Inclusion in governance,  if we don’t make ourselves available and be diligent in whatever we’re doing there is no way we can benefit from such inclusiveness, but when we are diligent in whatever we are doing, we will definitely stand tall, but if we as a woman are feeling timid and feeling somehow, if we refused to express that potentials in us there is nothing anybody can do, I’m using this opportunity to encourage our men to always persuade our women to strive and aspire to be great in life.” She said.

The event was attended by women advocacy groups, the representative of Nigerian Police Force, pressures groups, concerned individuals among others.

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