In order to make life more meaningful and lift widows out of poverty to enable them to cope with future realities, the Ogun State Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has empowered widows with different equipment to scale up their businesses.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs, Melutia Ogunremi in her keynote address at the 2023 Widows Retreat held at the Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, admonished Women especially widows to embrace innovation and technology as a means to liberate themselves from all kinds of trauma that might have occurred after the demise of their husbands.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, Ogunremi said “Innovation and technology are imperative to provide numerous opportunities for women, especially widows, to improve their economic, health, social and personal well-being”.
“When you embrace technology to improve your businesses, you will be free from all kinds of trauma such as emotional, economic, physical, and psychological associated with the death of your husbands”.
She implored relevant authorities to make technology accessible and affordable to all women, regardless of their socio-economic status or geographical location, saying the provision of improved Internet network services in rural areas and the provision of funds for training on technological innovations would enhance their livelihood and solve many challenges facing them.
In her welcome address, Director of Women Empowerment Services, Mrs. Wonuola Kassim, said the retreat which is an annual event was an avenue to give special recognition and create empowerment opportunities for widows, urging them to take advantage of the ministry’s vocational training to improve their livelihood.
She disclosed that over 50 widows benefitted from the distribution of equipment ranging from a freezer to a grinding machine, sewing machines, hair dryers, and ovens among others, noting that the gesture was part of the present administration’s social welfare and wellbeing initiative.
In their separate goodwill messages, A retired Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Modupe Bosede, Executive Director, Family Health Initiative. Mrs. Funmi Salisu and the Coordinator, Wives and Women Wellbeing, Mrs. Oluwakemi Balogun respectively stated that there is a need for widows to maintain a healthy lifestyle and acquire knowledge on technology and innovation to make living meaningful for themselves and their children, while they also appreciated the state government for the priority placed on women especially widows in the state.
In his lecture, titled ‘Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), representative of the Executive Director, Primary Health Care Development Board, Alh. Waheed Elegbede, said in order to prevent Cervical cancer, the State Government would administer immunization vaccines to children between the ages of nine and 14, urging them to join the campaign in their various neighbourhoods for girl-child to be immune against the disease as prevention is better than cure.
Speaking at the lecture, ‘Digital Innovation and Technology’, the team lead Crewton Solution Consulting, Mr. Babatunde Ogundiran urged the women to leverage the use of different social media platforms as a marketing strategy to advertise as this would, in turn, boost their businesses, adding that they should improve their learning skills on mobile internet to increase their social circle and make their businesses a global brand.
Appreciating the State Government on behalf of beneficiaries for the initiative, the duo of Mrs. Adenike Soyemi and Mrs. Bello Olufunmilayo said the empowerment of widows would lift them from poverty and give them the opportunity to stand among their peers.