Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has launched the HeForShe Initiative in the State, saying his administration has been doing its best in empowering women and catering to the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
The Governor stated this on Friday while receiving the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, who was on an advocacy visit to his office in Ibadan.
Makinde said his government would continue to engage more women and Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs), saying his administration is the first to appoint a female as Secretary to the State Government and there are many women at the Local Government level, due to the policy of having at least one female and one physically challenged person among the members of the caretaker committees.
The Governor disclosed that his administration had reduced the number of out-of-school children by canceling school fees and levies and giving subventions to schools in place of the levy on parents, saying school enrolment had improved by 10 percent since the inception of his government.
He noted: “Here, we have a Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, because we are not just talking about women affairs; people that are disadvantaged, the groups that have visibly been forgotten or are being left behind, we bring them in. So, we have done quite a lot in terms of social inclusion, by engaging disadvantaged groups and even on the “HeforShe” on the health side.”
While launching the ‘HeForShe’ Project, Governor Makinde expressed the readiness of the State to partner with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development on the development of women in the State, urging women to boldly participate in politics so as to contribute their quota in uplifting the Country.
Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, said the visit was aimed at discussing issues that affect women, girls and boys in the State and the Nigerian society in general.
She said: “It is my hope that this visit will further stimulate partnership between my Ministry and the State in the provision of better services and enabling environment for the advancement, empowerment, protection, and participation of the teeming population of women and girls, including the survival of children and other vulnerable groups in the State.”
Tallen commended Makinde for supporting women and promoting women’s rights, empowerment and advancement in the State, as he had appointed a female SSG, a female Head of Service, two female commissioners, five permanent secretaries, Director-General of Due Process and others, among the women in top positions in the State, while asking for more because she believes women deserve more.
“From the response of the Governor, I am fully satisfied that a lot more appointments will come soon, starting from the Local Government level to the State. And I wish Oyo State all the best. There will be more progress and development if more women are engaged in governance, as well as the support for our children to receive the necessary support they deserve,” the Minister concluded.