First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has said that the need to fortify women with knowledge and skills that will make them relevant in modern economy is at the top of the agenda of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) – a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Dr Sanwoolu at the opening ceremony of the 19th National Women Conference at the Eko Convention Centre in Victoria Island, said the Committee would be investing its energy and resources on implementing projects that specifically aim at strengthening the capacity of women and helping them to build resistance against disabilities that may limit their economic potential.
This year’s event is hosting more than 3,000 women has as it’s theme: “Unlearn, Learn and Re-learn: 21st Century Women’s T.H.E.M.E.S Perspectives/Approach”.
The opening was graced by the Wife of the President, Dr. Aishat Buhari, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, ex-Lagos First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, Governors of Kwara sand Ogun states, Mr. Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq and Mr. Dapo Abiodun.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the theme of the conference was aimed at imparting knowledge that would engender value re-orientation and equip women with skills that would make them relevant in the State.
He said: “The goal of this conference is to impart knowledge on all the participants and equip them with relevant skills. The knowledge that will enable them contribute effectively to the collective goal of building and delivering the Lagos we all deserve”
Sanwo-Olu said his administration had redefined gender balance in the State with the appointment of 13 women into key decision-making positions in the cabinet. Empowering women with right skills and given them opportunity to be part of the decision makers, the Governor said, would set the State on the course of irreversible growth, economically and socially.
In her opening remarks, Lagos First Lady, Dr. Sanwo-Olu, said the theme of the conference was strategically chosen to empower women to continue to play important part as pillars of growth and development economically, politically, socially and in all other areas that matter.
She urged women to key into programmes of the State Government in strategic sectors such as Health, Environment, Agriculture, Education, and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Mrs Aisha Buhari, Represented by wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, urged wives of political office holders to work towards impacting the lives of the less privileged and vulnerable persons in the society.
Gbajabiamila noted that women possessed natural ability to influence the society positively, adding that education was vital towards empowering the women. He said House of Representatives would continue to leverage legislative process to champion action that would challenge laws that limit women.
The open day also featured panels of discussion centred on building entrepreneurial skills of women while some women whose works and activities empowered the less privileged were honoured at the event.
They include founder of Real Women Foundation, Pastor Nike Adeyemi, who received the Inspirational Woman Award for her dedicated service to the empowerment of women. Other honorees are Pastor Siju Iluyomade and Pastor Rosemary Ideh.