The ‘Olori Connection’ Community Model
In Nigeria, women are under-represented almost in all aspects of the nation’s economy such as politics, education, agriculture, business enterprises etc.
This informed conscious efforts towards
the mobilization of women to demand for 35% women representation in all aspects of the nation.
The Olori connection is a framework of community engagement that purposively integrates women in efforts geared towards improving women’s, child and adolescent health.
The aim of this community model is to position women in the forefront of planning, decision-making, resource allocation and implementation of community projects.
Previous approaches relied more on men than women even though it is common knowledge that sustainable development at any level of the society could hardly be achievable in societal frameworks where women’s roles are not considered.
Why the Oloris?
In the typical African-traditional settings, monarchial system of leadership is predominant especially at the community level.
Depending on the size of the community, a monarch may take the form of a King (Oba), Chief or Elder. In South Western Nigeria, the wife of a monarch is commonly called Olori (Queen). In most cases, there may be as many as five Oloris in one Palace.
The Oloris are very influential individuals in the communities who are viewed as mothers to other women in the community. They are opinion leaders in women groups and play key roles in the organization of women at the community level.
Therefore, in view of these revelations, the office of the first lady in collaboration with Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) and the Ondo state ministry of women affairs mobilized Oloris across the 18 LGAs of Ondo state to serve as a one stop shop for all women related intervention sponsored and supported by the Ondo state government.
So far, this platform has seen to the empowerment of over 5000 women through its partnership with FOWOSO and the birth registration of about 9000 children during the accelerated birth registration (ABR) and ABR+program.
And also, through partnership with BAAF, Ondo state primary health care board and
ministry of women affairs Olori connect has assisted in the provision of delivery kits to over 1000 pregnant women in Ondo state.
Some of the successes of the Olori connection program include;
III. Solayo for pregnant women
IV. Served as a platform that facilitated the establishment of FOWOSO.
There is an increasing demand for women-based forums and associations in the developmental agenda of Nigeria as a nation in order to ensure the dividends of democracy are spread across regional, occupational, religious and ethnocentric backgrounds.