The wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, has restated her call for more women participation in politics, saying women cannot afford to leave all the decisions about their lives and that of their children to the men alone.
Mrs. Abiodun stated this while inaugurating the Ogun State chapter of the Network Of Peace and Security for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO), in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The first lady was also decorated as an Ambassador of Peace by NOPSWECO.
NOPSWECO, is an ECOWAS organisation charged with the responsibilities of promoting and protecting the rights of women, strengthening women’s capacities in leadership and lobbying and to also conduct prevention and fight programmes against violence, sexual exploitation and abuse against women
The first lady emphasised that, women occupy a unique position in the promotion of peace and development in the society, lamenting that insecurity in the country has exposed more women and children to danger.
According to her, women and children are more vulnerable to violence whenever there is unrest in the society and charged women to come together support themselves and participate in political activities at the highest level.
Her words: “When women come together to form groups and associations, they are in a better position to exert their influence and mobilize resources to secure their communities.
“Again, this begins at the community level and our women must be at the forefront of promoting peace through associations and groups with as little as five people.
“Another way of securing peace in our country is by encouraging our women to participate in decision-making process at the highest level. But this cannot happen if they are not empowered to freely take part in politics.
“We should not leave all the decisions about our lives and the lives of our children to the men alone. When we promote gender equality, we are not paying lip service.
“Rather we are saying that women participation in politics, decision-making and peace building helps everyone involved to see all the sides of the argument. Conflicts often arise as a result of simple misunderstandings that may cause aggression if not quickly addressed.
“Women’s groups in various communities across the State should therefore, as a matter of urgency, help in addressing conflicts when they arise”.
In her remarks, the State Coordinator of NOPSWECO, Ms. Mojisola Akinsanya, said the network has been carrying advocacies on the need to promote peace and security among the various ethnic groups in the State.
She lamented that the Fulani herders – farmers crisis in some parts of the State, especially in the Yewa region has exposed more women, girls and children in danger.
Akinsanya expressed worry that, the society will be grave danger, if the peace and security of women and children can no longer be guaranteed.
She, therefore, solicited the support Mrs. Abiodun for the network in carrying out its mandates.