Lead fight against COVID-19 –Deputy Defence Minister urges women

“Lead the fight against the coronavirus disease because you better understand care,” Deputy Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro, has urged women. 

In a commemorative statement to mark the 2020 International Peace-Keepers’ Day yesterday in Parliament, Accra, on the theme “Women in peace-keeping: A key to peace,” Major (Rtd) Oduro said the role of women in peace-keeping has become more critical than it has ever been. 

According to him, since the United Nations’ first deployment in 1948, over one million women have served in various capacities in the global body’s 72 missions. 

“Their contributions in these missions have positively impacted the lives of millions of people across the globe.

“I therefore urge our women to once again lead the fight to stop the spread of the virus. 

“Every woman therefore needs to see herself as a peace-keeper and contribute their quota to the campaign to stay safe. 

The role of women in ensuring peace both at home, the workplace and in the community, he said, was something civilians of the world must appreciate and should endeavour to promote for the continuous existence of humanity. 

“We say ayekoooo to our women peace-keepers,” he said. 

The Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee and MP for Builsa North, James Agalga, contributing to the statement said the increased number of female peace-keepers over the years had helped in the shift from the traditional peace-keeping roles initially given to Ghanaian contingents to peace operations. 

“Our country, we must observe, has deployed more women to international peace-keeping duties and we need to pat ourselves on the shoulder and urge government to in furtherance of that, recruit more women into our security services to be able to actualise the doctrinal shift we have all embarked upon,” he urged. 

James Agalga asked that the world moved away from the idea of cease-fires as peace-keeping and begun to pursue other functions like the institution of liberal democratic states as part of post conflict reconstruction. 

The cuts in peace-keeping budgets in recent years by the US and the UN by about US$1.6 billion, he said would affect Ghana’s defence funding; hence the government must take steps to find ways to sustainably support Ghana’s peacekeeping operations. 

He said Ghana’s contribution to world peace would mean nothing if it was unable to maintain peace and order herself, saying “Our ability to involve in UN peace operations is contingent on our ability to maintain peace in our own country.” 

“It is, therefore, imperative that we begin to implement strategies that will consolidate our democratic gains,” he advocated. 

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