Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, has paid a glowing tribute to queen mothers in Ghana for their critical roles in maintaining the chieftaincy institution for national development.
The Vice President, who was speaking at a grand durbar of queen mothers at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi as part of activities marking the 5th anniversary of the Asantehemaa, said queen mothers were the pillars behind the chieftaincy system.
The durbar, which was held in honour of Nana Konadu Yiadom III, coincided with the Awukudae, one of the sacred days celebrated by the Asantes in remembrance of their ancestors and past leaders.
Thousands of people from across the country, including representatives from the government, the Diplomatic Corps and corporate bodies, attended the durbar, which was characterised by the display of the rich culture and traditions of the Asante Kingdom.
“Many would agree with me that we owe so much of the stability of the chieftaincy system, especially in the Asante Kingdom, because of the wise choices made in the selection of chiefs led by our queen mothers,” Dr Bawumia stated.
He said the role of the queen mother in modern Ghana had even expanded but their efforts never came to the limelight.
As custodians of our cultural traditions, he said, queen mothers had other roles to play, especially in the areas of tourism, girl child education, marriage literacy, and poverty, among the girl child.
“You are the ones who can rally women together. You settle disputes and also keep an eye on social conditions within society,” the Vice President extolled the contribution of queen mothers.
In the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Bawumia said he saw queen mothers as agents in promoting the goals of ending poverty among women and children, tackling hunger among school children, maintaining good health and promoting gender equality.
He said women and children under 15 years, according to the recent population census, constituted about 68 per cent of the population hence issues concerning this majority of the population should be a concern to all.
Additionally, he noted that women constituted 51 per cent of the population yet they were the most excluded in the financial sector and also lacked access to land.
“The poverty of women begins from lack of education. They carry the burden of teenage pregnancies, thereby retarding their progress,” he asserted.
The Vice President congratulated Nana Konadu Yiadom III on her 5th anniversary and praised her for the leadership qualities since her enstoolment as the 14th Asantehemaa.
“We are here not only to show you how much we cherish you as a person but also for the fulfilment of your traditional role as a queen mother,” he said. -GNA