‘Involve women in peace efforts’

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr. John Alexander Ackon, has advocated for greater women participation in peace accords across the globe.

He said the contribution of women towards sustaining peace across the globe could not be underrated because they had demonstrated how peace was needed to promote socio- economic development, unlike their male counterparts who persistently show hostility in attempts to broker peace.

Speaking at the opening session of a regional experience sharing conference to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, in Accra yesterday, Mr. Ackon lauded Ghanaian women for showing great resolve in ending acts of violence in their communities. The UNSCR 1325, which started in the year 2000, stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping and post-conflict recovery.

This year’s commemoration, on the theme, ‘15 years of implementing 1325 in West Africa: Looking back and looking forward’ with a focus on the West African sub-region, was to review progress of the programme. It was attended by representatives of national and regional women’s groups, gender ministries, ECOWAS and other multinational organisations in the region amongst others.

Mr. Ackon said for the impact of the women participation in conflict resolution to be felt, it was important that the operational implementation of the resolution was carried out in the light of the emerging threats which include the growing wave of terrorism in the region, drug trafficking and corruption on the continent.

He said for the government to show its commitment to the resolution, the ministry had developed the Gender Policy and Affirmative Action Bill due for parliament early next year to mainstream gender concerns into all sectors and all levels.

Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze, the Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, said experience throughout the world has shown that exclusion of women in all aspects of life from politics to social and economic endeavours makes sustainable peace and development a mirage.

Mr. Emeka said though women were the worst affected in conflicts and natural disasters, “they stand at the frontlines, sustain their families and often are the single reason why life continues even in the hardest circumstances” he said, adding that “Our aim is to create an environment for women to become active agents of peace, empower them to seek and maintain security”.

By Julius Yao Petetsi  

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