Educated Women Are Better Equipped To Make Informed Decisions About Their Lives – FUTA VC, Prof. Adenike Oladiji
“When women are educated, they are better equipped to make informed decisions about their lives.”
The above were the words of the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Adenike Oladiji at the third public lecture of Precision Online Newspaper held in Akure, the Ondo State capital at the weekend.
Prof. Oladiji who was the keynote speaker at the event, spoke on the theme, “promoting women’s right for quality education and health”.
According to Prof. Oladiji, education would ensure that women pursue meaningful careers, contribute actively to their communities, challenge societal norms, break gender stereotypes and participate in the socio-economic and political spheres.
She added that when women are educated they would be able to invest in the education of their children, break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and ignorance, improves health literacy, as well as partake in decision making and childcare practices among their peers.
On health development, Prof. Oladiji observed that women’s health is not individual well-being but a determinant of the overall health and prosperity of the family and hence general society.
“When they are healthy, it affects not only the women but also the health and prosperity of future generations. In many regions, women face challenges in accessing healthcare services due to economic disparities, cultural taboos, and discriminatory practices.
“Lack of access to proper healthcare increases the risk of maternal mortality, limits family planning options, and perpetuates gender-based violence.
“Promoting women’s right for healthcare involves ensuring physical access to services and addressing cultural and societal norms that hinder women from seeking and receiving appropriate care.
“Promoting women’s right for quality education and healthcare is not only a matter of justice but a prerequisite for sustainable development and societal progress.
“The synergistic relationship between education and healthcare forms the foundation for women’s empowerment thereby enabling them to lead healthy, fulfilled lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
The FUTA VC further observed that the relationship between a woman’s education and healthcare is symbiotic, that is, they are synergistic or cooperative.
“An educated woman is more likely to prioritize her health, make informed decisions about family planning, and seek medical care when needed. Also, good health enhances a woman’s ability to pursue education, work and contribute meaningfully to the society.
“Investing in comprehensive sex education as part of the educational curriculum can empower women to make informed choices about their reproductive health, leading to healthier lives for both mothers and children. Similarly, promoting healthcare services tailored to women’s unique needs contributes to a healthier and more productive female workforce,” she said.
The Chief Imam of Akure, Sheikh AbdulHakeem Akorede who appreciated the prowess of the FUTA VC, said with her level of education and the fact that she manages no fewer than 25,000 students and over 2,000 staff, she must see herself as a man.
Akorede stressed the importance of educating girls, stating that an educated woman contributes significantly to societal development, adding that parents should prioritize the education of their daughters, emphasizing that the nation benefits when women are educated.
Akorede urged women to embrace their roles with dignity and emphasized the need for mutual respect in society.
“It’s only that in our society here that women don’t respect themselves at all. If you go to the market you will see women there but if you go to Saudi Arabia you can’t just see women like that, women are like diamonds there, their men try to take care of their women in a good way but in Nigeria here women useless themselves and we want them to bring themselves back and to do the necessary things and to respect that blessing that God has done for them,” he added.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Dr (Mrs) Yemisi Jeff-Agboola, chairperson of the occasion who spoke on empowering women and girls for quality education and health, said it is not only a fundamental human right but also a catalyst for social and economic development.
“When women have access to quality education, they are better equipped to contribute to their communities, break the cycle of poverty, and make informed decisions about their lives and health.
“Education is the key that unlocks opportunities for individuals and societies to thrive. By ensuring that women and girls have equal access to education, we can promote gender equality and empower them to reach their full potential.”
Dr Jeff-Agboola further submitted that promoting women’s right for quality education and health is not only a matter of human rights but also a pathway to a more equitable and prosperous society.
“By ensuring that women and girls have equal access to education and comprehensive healthcare, we can empower them to reach their full potential and contribute to the betterment of their communities and the world.
“Let us work together to break down barriers, challenge societal norms, and create an inclusive and enabling environment that promotes women’s right for education and health. Only by doing so can we achieve true gender equality and build a brighter future for all,” she said.
In his welcome address, Founder of Precision Online Newspaper, Olusegun Hakeem Adebumiti, who disclosed that the outfit chose the theme to further reinforce or reawaken the public on the need for women empowerment.
“I stand before you today to reinforce the need for us as stakeholders, educators, leaders of thoughts, religious leaders to champion the cause to empower our women. It is our belief at Precision Online Newspaper, that for we to get the best out of our society, we must empower the girl child and by extension our women.
“There are a thousand of reasons for us to be worried. The out of school children population in the world, out of which Nigeria shares a substantial figure, stood at 20 million as at September, 2022. It is easy to conclude that the 20 million figure announced by UNESCO then would be mostly girls. This alone should create fears in our minds.
“For us, having a platform like this to further reinforce our actions towards the development of the girls or women’s right for education and health is imperative,” Adebumiti said.
The keynote address of the FUTA VC was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr (Mrs) Yetunde Olagbuji, a Consultant Public Health Physician; Dr (Mrs) Sidiqat Adamson Shodeinde, a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko and Ms. Morayo J. Itiolu, the convener of Pad Every Girl Initiative.
Participants at the event cut across the media, religious and political spheres. The presence of students of Khadob College Obaile, Akure also added color to the event.