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A 2-Day Workshop On Women Political Capacity Enhancement Workshop For Women
Organized By Women Arise For Change Initiative It Held At Delight Hotel, Ekiti State, On Wednesday 30th March, 2016

By Senior Cadre

It was a gathering of women from Osun, Ondo and Ekiti State, The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole, and prominent members of the Ekiti State Government were at the workshop.

In her welcome address, the president of Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin formally welcome all to the Two-Day workshop for Community Women and Women Political Aspirants, this edition is made for women political aspirants and community women from Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States.

She asserted that the workshop by the Women Arise is part of her mandate for enhancement of women political participation in South West Nigeria. The objective of this workshop is to enhance women political participation and their inclusion in decision making process by promoting female political aspirants and appointees, also to encourage a more massive political mobilization of women.

Also, that the workshop aims to build the capacity of women in Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States to participate in future elections.

Furthermore that most societies, women constitute 50% of population, forming a critical mass in societal mobilization and direction. Women’s key roles include being: the mother, producer, home manager, community organizer, child builder, the nucleus of family as a primary socialization agent, anchors of culture and ultimately, the creation that makes the world have meaning to man. But come to politics, women merely constitute the cheering crowd or supporters’ club. Especially in Africa, women are denied access to government decision-making and political processes.

In addition is also observed that Nigerian women over the years have not fully involved themselves in the political space despite constitutional provisions that give them rights to political participation. Premised on the above, this workshop therefore aims at enhancing the capacity of female political aspirants, taking Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States this season. It also aims at enhancing the capacity of women for more active and rewarding positions and women political participation in coming elections.

Finally, she emphasized that she strongly believe that at the end of this engagement, especially listening to His Excellency, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and other political leaders present, participants will gain improved knowledge on involvement with aspiration and political leadership.

Also the speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole expressed his appreciation of the organizer of the workshop, Women Arise for Change Initiative for putting together these resources to organize the programme and also considered Ekiti State as a host state. He particularly expressed his satisfactory over the roles that Nigerian women have played in placing Nigeria on a right path of political ethos.

He however, franked on the continually relegation of women to back position on the political scheming. The speaker, mentioned that, in spite of the huge sacrifice made by Nigerian Women and their participation in the political process, yet, women are not recognized and the political empowerment is made or less nothing to zero.

He however called for more political capacity enhancement of our women so as to encourage them to take front sit and also serve as lubricant in the wheel that will keep Nigeria politics on a success tracks.

The State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Ayodele Fayose in his remarks as the Chairman of the occasion confirmed to the gathering that his presence at the workshop was to recognize the pedigree and honour the personality of the president of Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin. He stated that is not so common for him as the State Governor to attend programmes or events in hotel but, the spirits behind the workshop as aims and objectives and the expected result to the people at the grassroots, most especially women prompted him to honour the invitation. He mentioned that, he has appraised and evaluated the activities and performances of many that paraded themselves as social crusaders, but found many of them as thieves and political Jobbers that are desperate to seek recognition and infamous glory at determent of the poor masses.

The governor particularly expressed his satisfactory over the sacrifice made in the past by Dr. Joe Odunmakin in fighting a just course, in spite of intimidation, humiliation and harassment of Nigerian political taskmasters. He stated that Dr. Joe Odumakin voice is a lone voice in the wilderness of oppressor. Speaking on the state of the state of the nation the governor stated that Nigeria is like a volcano that will erupt as there is no good leadership with genuine desire to lead the country to glorious shore.

While advising women to be politically empowered, Governor Ayodele Fayose encouraged them to be alert in spirit and always ready to showcase their intellectual prowess and actively involved in the process that will bring desire change in society.

He educated women on the need for them to have their voters’ card which will guarantee their participation in the process of change.

The governor condemned the non-challant attitudes of some women at home front. He called for a change in attitude, and advised women to practically exhibit sense of responsibility with the spirit of fraternal comradeship that will establish them to have a solid foundation.

These according to him could only be achieved through sincerity, open mindedness, faithfulness and vision of purpose.

On his advice to the newly elected President of the Campaign for Democracy, Comrade Bako Usman; the Governor, advised him to learn from the past leaders of the CD and always stand up for the truth.

Finally, the newly elected President of the Campaign for Democracy, Comrade Usman Bako, in his Goodwill Message affirmed that on behalf, of the Newly Elected National Officers of Campaign for Democracy (CD) he commends Women Arise for Change Initiative for organizing this workshop and stressed that it has indeed come at the right time as some of the states in the south west are warming up for Local Government Elections.

Also, that it is indeed very important at this stage of our democratic journey to open up more space for women participation in politics and decision-making process. Available statistics and data have shown that women are still marginalize in political and appointive positions and we need to plug this gap for our democracy to be truly genuine and our governance to truly pro-people.

Finally, he asserted that it was very important and needful for all stakeholders to do the following:

1. Encourage women mobilization and participation in all our political platforms

2. Political leaders should deliberately open up space and create a level playing ground for both men and women

3. Women themselves must mobilize across board for active political participation.

4. Women must also rally round female aspirants and ensure adequate support for them during campaign and elections.

In conclusion, that he congratulates his leader and role model, The President of Women Arise and all the entire women present today and advise them to take advantage of this opportunity to widen your horizon as regards women political participation.

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
President
Women Arise for Change Initiative
54A, Adeyemo Akapo Street,
Omole Phase 1, Estate,
Ojodu-Lagos, Nigeria.
Website: www.womenarise.org.ng
Campaign4democracy.org







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