By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos – The Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, says she weeps over women plights and marginalisation not only in Nigeria but in the entire Africa.
Sanwo-Olu expressed the concern on Saturday at a one-day seminar and inauguration of the Lagos State Chapter of SHE COOPS Nigeria, an NGO for women empowerment and participation in cooperatives.
The News Agency Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NGO was initiated in the state by Dr Appolonia Eke, the Executive Director, Amazing Care Foundation, who is also the state coordinator of SHE COOPS.
Sanwo-Olu was represented at the event by Mrs Roseline Idimogu, the Wife of a Lagos State lawmaker, Mr Jude Idimogu, representing Oshodi-Isolo II.
She said that women must be empowered for the society to move forward.
” I have seen the plights of women especially the underprivileged ones; if you go to the remote areas, you will see what women are going through.
“When we go to some parts of Africa, where women are going through serious marganisation, I weep.
“The specie, called woman, has passed through torture by humanity, and being a woman, I feel I have to contribute to improve their lot.
“They are a unique set of people, who when armed with skills and abilities, can change the world. I will like to see every woman in Nigeria have a voice,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Sanwo-Olu called for education of the girl-child and other women, saying that their education would reduce poverty.
She described women as a pillar of the home and society, hence the need to give attention to their empowerment.
The Country Programme Manager of SHE COOPS, Mrs Grace Adeola, said that the inauguration was aimed at building a better world for every woman.
Adeola urged women “to come together as a cooperative”.
She called for massive empowerment of women to bring real change to the world.
According to her, when women are developed, families, societies and the world at large will be better.
She said that the major challenge of women empowerment remained funding for skills acquisition.
She said that the NGO had sought for funds internationally from those whose goals and ambitions were to develop women.
In a goodwill message, the Lagos State Coordinator of SHE COOPS, Eze, said that hidden treasures in most women had not been discovered because the society had yet to encourage them enough to exhibit what they had.
“I dream of a Nigeria where a woman will be a leader, I dream of a Nigeria where 45 per cent of women will occupy the parliament, I dream of a Nigeria where we would have 35 per cent of professionals being women.
“From my dealings with women of low, middle and high classes, I got to know that women are unique species and agent of change.
“If they are empowered, the whole nation is empowered. There are many hindering factors debarring women access to empowerments; that gap is SHE COOPs is out to bridge,” she said.
The Kano State SHE COOPS Coordinator, Mrs Grace Jokayemi, urged women not to be liability but asset to the society in order to make impact, saying that the NGO was out to provide them with basic empowerments.
NAN reports that women numbering about 2,000 were divided into 85 groups to showcase skills in the production of several items which include spices, liquid soap, purses, plantain chips and bags.
The others are yam flour, plantain floor, beads, cream, bean flour, bread, custard, snacks, bleach, coconut milk, detergents, activated coconut charcoal, antiseptic, pop-corn, coconut oil, fruit juice, perfume and organic soap.