By Yinka Kolawole
The Osun State government has assured indigenes of the state that no fewer than 200 indigent women will be economically independent before the end of the first quarter of the year.
Speaking on the menace of rape, domestic violence and other forms of oppression against women in Osogbo weekend, the state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Olubukola Olaboopo, said no stone will be left unturned in making sure women in the state are economically liberated.
Olaboopo urged women to speak out any time their rights are tampered with.
According to her, “We have immediately commenced activities. So far, we have organized sensitization programme to commemorate the elimination of violence against women and the whole of Osun came out to join us. We had deputy governor, all cabinet members, all men and women from across the cadres.
“It was to sensitise our people that it is no longer tolerated for women to be violated and domestically abused.
“We are telling our people to speak out. If they don’t speak out, there is no way the government can assist them.
“Apart from that, we also have commemorated the International Women Rights Day where we had all women in the state assembled. We were able to get resource persons from Ministry of Justice who are legal luminaries to sensitise our women on what there rights are and for them to be able to identify when such rights are violated and how they would be able to seek redress when they notice that their rights are being violated.”
Olaboopo added that the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation distributed cooking stoves to women in the state as part of the ministry’s empowerment programme.
She said her ministry and the office of the First Lady have also synergized to see that women in the state are gainfully employed through myriads of empowerment programmes.
“Recently, Her Excellency, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola, empowered 1,000 women who are into agriculture by giving them seedlings, money to go and start something on their own. From time to time, the ministry and office of Her Excellency have joined hands to empower women in the state not only in agriculture.
“We had deworming exercise for our children. We also have worked on O’widow. When we came on board, we saw that O’Widow are out of function and we have been able to put them together,” she said.
Other areas where the ministry intends to focus its attention on includes sports, and SMEs, among others.
“We are also looking at working in the interests of women who are in sports.
“We are planning to host Osun Women Run. It is going to be a marathon exercise. We would be attracting women who are in sports from South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and other African and international countries,” she added.