The wife of the Governor of the State of Osun, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola, on Thursday, bemoaned the excruciating effects of poverty in Nigeria, lamenting that 70 per cent of the Nigerian women were living below poverty level.
She tasked the three tiers of government, corporate organisations and wealthy individuals in the country to step up measures aimed at ameliorating poverty in the society, most especially as it affects women and girl child.
Alhaja Aregbesola made this disclosure in Osogbo at the graduation ceremony of 1,500 women who participated in an eight weeks skills acquisition programme, organised by her office, in conjunction with the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
The women were trained in hair braiding/weaving, tie and dye, event management, cakes and snacks production, soap and pomade making, hat and turban making, bead/wire works, production of stove thread, rat poison, insecticides, disinfectant, among others.
She explained that the programme, sponsored by the state government, was a demonstration of government’s passion to make women relevant, functional, productive and formidable partners in progress.
According to Aregbesola, “Poverty pre-disposes women to economic hardship, social marginalisation, untimely death, violence, diseases and other menace, while it also heighten the girl-child abuses through practices such as child labour, child marriage and trafficking of girls.”
She stated that: “Women are relegated to the background by societal norms and culture. They do not have equal opportunities like their male counterparts. It is high time issues on gender equalities are brought to the fore and tackled decisively so that the potentials abounding in women would be fully tapped and utilised.”
In her welcome address, the state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Mofolake Adetoun Adegboyega, said that the training was deliberately packaged to empower women and make them socially, economically and politically relevant in the society.