A former Vice President of Zimbabwe, Mrs. Joice Mujuru, will headline this year’s edition of the Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA), annual conference, where more than 1000 delegates is being expected in Ibadan, the state capital.
The wife of the Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, disclosed this in an address during the inauguration of the OYSOWA building, located within her office complex, by the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Monday.
Mujuru, who served as VP of Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2014 under President Robert Mugabe, will lead other feminists, gender specialists and top women entrepreneur to the conference to discuss issues capable of advancing the course of women.
Since the annual conference began six years, the wife of the governor, who is the Chairperson of OYSOWA, said that more than 10,000 women had been empowered with life-changing business ideas, knowledge and financial support.
She thanked the state government for putting the issue of women in the front burner through poverty alleviation schemes, appointments, and domestication of laws that prescribes punishments for violence against women and child abuse.
She said, “OYSOWA is a phenomenon that has come to stay and I congratulate the women in Oyo State for this achievement. Our 2017 conference is poised to be a memorable one. We are expecting more than 1000 delegates across the country.
“Last year, the focus of our conference was ‘The ultimate woman at a time like this’ and this year, we will be examining ‘The resilient woman, making a difference’ to underscore the strategic role of women in nation building.
“Due to the globally-acclaimed impacts that we have made to lift women out of the shackle of deprivation, discrimination and poverty, as well promotion of women’s health, the former VP of Zimbabwe, Mrs. Joice Mejuru, has graciously accepted our invitation to the forthcoming 2017 conference.”
In his remarks, the governor said that the administration led by him remained the best in terms of caring for the womenfolk through various programmes and policies that had impacted positively on the lives of women in the state.
Given the strategic importance of women in nation building, the governor said that his administration had supported and promoted women-related issues and had ensured gender balancing in all activities.
The Governor used the occasion to dismiss speculations that his wife was nursing the ambition of contesting election into the National Assembly in 2019, which he said was the wild imagination of some people.
Ajimobi said, “Ours is the first administration to give this kind of attention and promotion to the womenfolk through which the inherent qualities in them are brought to limelight.
“The building (OYSOWA Secretariat) that we are commissioning today will fast track empowerment of our women, which will in turn help develop our households and the nation as a whole.”
The event was graced by the Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Moses Adeyemo, and his wife, Janet; as well top officials of the state government and their spouses.