Former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, on Thursday, March 15, 2018, urged women to go beyond singing after politicians, to pressing for affirmative action on their inclusion in government.
Mimiko gave the advice at the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD) Celebration organised by Oduduwa Women Council in Lagos.
The programme came a week after the IWD, which is marked globally on March 8.
“It is not enough for women to sing after politicians, you must press for the affirmative actions on women inclusion in government.
“Women should take advantage of free nomination forms offered by political parties to get involved in contesting for political offices,” Mimiko said.
He called for massive girl-child education to accelerate women inclusion in leadership, decision making and political participation.
The former governor told the audience in his keynote address that the world is no longer in the era of might, but that of knowledge.
“Men are stronger than women in physical strength, but we live in the world of mental strength, which most women possess.
“We are now in the knowledge economy where knowledge drives economy. The number one priority to address gender inequality and disparity is new commitment to girl-child education.
“There should be gender parity in the contest, opportunity for women to get to the height of their God-given potentials.
“There should be love around us for the inclusion of women in development,” he said.
Mimiko said that 10.5 million children were out of school in Nigeria, which he said is the largest in the world.
According to him, gone is the era of slavery, and the challenge of this century is women empowerment, especially with African women at the bottom of the ladder.
The ex-governor, who called for girl-child education, said the disparity between men and women was wide.
Mimiko urged women to sell their property to educate their children if need be, saying that some people were leaders in Nigeria based on the support of women.
He emphasised that education is important and is the foundation of human development.
Mimiko condemned the spate of violence in the country, and advised the women to tell those in government to put an end to blood letting in the country.
He said that women bear the pains of violence more and called for proper restructuring of the nation to checkmate the spate of insecurity.
The ex-governor urged women to join in the call for safe motherhood to be part of fundamental human rights.
Earlier in her speech, the Chief Convener of the Oduduwa Women Council, Mrs Olasinmi Akindele-Odunmbaku, said they decided to come together to emancipate women.
“Yoruba women have always been in the forefront of the struggle for independence.
“We, as a group of women, decided to come together for the emancipation of the Yoruba women, who have hitherto been relegated to the background.
“We, Yoruba women, are now a shadow of our former selves; we are no longer active, and we are rarely seen in the forefront these days.
“We are also laid back in the area of education and awareness,” she said.
Odunmbaku said that Yoruba women must be put back on the path of freedom to take their rightful place among Nigerian women and those in the world at large.
The Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, in her remark at the event, said it was important for women to love themselves, be united and work together.