Women, not men ignite gender inequality’ – How Int’l Women’s Day was celebrated in Ogbomoso 

Image caption: Convener of Aye Obinrin, the organizer of the event, Mrs. Tunrayo Babatunde at the podium during the event

Women, not men ignite gender inequality’ – How Int’l Women’s Day was celebrated in Ogbomoso 


Abdulrazaq BELLO


Women have been charged to strive to become the best version of themselves in order to attain fulfillment and accelerate progress in the society.


This advice was given during the Aye Obinrin Foundation-organized 2024 International Women’s Day held at Ogbomoso Recreation Club, March 8.

This is as it is observed that men should be absolved from the blame of gender inequality perceived to be pervading the society with the submission that it is women that actually engender the menace with the special treatment they accord male children at home.


The event organized in conjunction with FIDA (Federacion International De Abogadas) and which also featured conferment of awards on women achievers in the society, had many dignitaries in attendance including Rev’d Soji Opone Adejumo (CEO of TISO Consult) and Engr. Oladayo Awodele.


Dr. Mrs. F.O. Ajao, one of the guest speakers, speaking on the theme, “Inspire inclusion” and topic “Invest in women – Accelerate progress,” noted that a woman has relational power to accelerate progress and transform the society.


Dr. Ajao averred that whatever is given a woman multiplies in folds, asserting, “We are the salt of our home, the salt of our community and the salt of our nation.”


Ajao also stated that to get the best out of women and accelerate societal progress, “they must be invested in, by equipping them with resources and opportunities to promote their personal and economic growth. Also, they need empowerment for fulfillment of their potentials. When you empower a woman you harness her zeal, innovation and leadership to benefit the home, the community and the nation the large.”


She further posited that investing in women will promote societal change, family cohesion, harmony in place of conflict, prudent use of common resources, while highlighting ways to invest in women including focusing on the female children from the cradle, giving them quality formal education, identifying their talents, teaching them the right values, teaching them to be diligent, have determination to succeed, instilling confidence in them and fear God.

Mrs. Babatunde flanked by Rev’d Adejumo (right) and Engr Awodele

She also charged government to invest in women by helping them financially, put them in school, support women in leadership and to help them have access to family planning and helping to address the multifarious challenges confronting women.


Dr. Ajao now maintained that investing in women involves adequate mentoring, building connections, helping others, fronting for women, championing and celebrating one another, making them believe in themselves, learning new things every day, adequate rest and eating good food.


The second speaker, Barrister Dr. Ayobola Afolabi, harped on promotion of gender equality and a better society free of gender bias affirming these are part of the reasons for setting apart a day internationally to celebrate women.


Dr. Afolabi reiterated the messages of Dr. Ajao charging that “a comprehensive approach must be adopted to overcome the enormous challenges against women.”


In her welcome address, the convener of Aye Obinrin, Mrs. Motunrayo Babatunde, recalled the first International Women Day took place in 1911, and is now held annually on March 8, saying it is a day set apart to “recognize the achievements and contributions of women in society.”


Mrs. Babatunde, popularly called “Women Advocate on Radio,” also informed, “It is also a day to raise awareness of the challenges that women still face in achieving gender equality around the world. One of the main goals of international women’s day is to raise awareness of the issues and to promote gender equality. It is a day to celebrate the progress that has been made in advancing women’s rights and also to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done.”


She urged that efforts should be geared towards ensuring passing of the 35 percent women inclusion in governance in the National Assembly which she recalled was championed by wives of the former president, Aishat Buhari and vice president, Dolapo Osinbajo.


Rev’d Sola Opone Adejumo, convener of Nigerian Chartered for Equity, admitted that women have suffered a lot of inequality and injustice in this country, hammering on the approval of the 35 percent inclusion in governance.


Adejumo expressed belief that if women are put more in government positions things will fare better in the country charging there should be more agitations to achieve this.


Engr. Awodele on the other hand disagreed with the 35 percent inclusion proposal arguing that women should rather seek to get 100 percent. “I don’t believe in 35% of a thing, if you can get 100 % and it will make Nigeria better so be it. Be equipped to get the positions you want.”


He however blamed women for the so-called gender bias agitation saying, “Who is excluding women? It is women excluding women.”


Explaining, he pointed out this scenario begins from the home, “Most of you separate your male child from female child, you address your male child as “oko mi,” and during sharing of house chores, you assign some duties to boys and some to girls promoting inequality right from then. From a tender age you unstill into them unconsciously that men are special. So, it is the women that are excluding women, not the men. You must recognize the fact that whether male of female they are all human beings. So, you should learn to believe in what you believe in.”


The awardees included Her Majesty, Olori Esther Oyediran (wife of Onpetu of Ijeru Oba Sunday Oyedran), Her Majesty Olori Jewel Oyekemi Akinola (wife of Alapa of Okin-Apa, Oba Prof John Akintola), Her Majesty Olori Deborah Ojuolape (wife of Aale of Okelerin Oba Samuel Babatunde Amao), Barrister Omotayo Olatunbosun, Dr Mrs. Victoria Bamidele (Sin Baba), Dr. Mrs. M.A. Adeniran, Engr Dr Mrs. T.M. Adepoju and Prof Mrs. Olubunmi Florence Osemane.


Others are Prof Mrs. Grace O. Babarinde, Dr. Mrs. Ruth Oluwatosin Ilori, Mrs. Funmilayo Nbonu, Miss Taiwo Akinola Ibukunoluwa, Prof Mrs. Abiola Idowu, Mrs. Rafiu and also an organization – Women in Technical Education and Development and Development (Creativity with Feminine Touch).

Prophetess Akinloye (third right), Olori Akintola (second right), Aye Obinrin convener (fourth right)

Prophetess Olufunmilayo Akinloye of Christ Zion Ministry who missed the 2023 edition was conferred with her award this year.


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