At least 14,000 personnel of Ghana Armed Force (GAF) including civilian employees in the garrisons are to benefit from gender mainstreaming project dubbed, ‘Enhancing Ghana Armed Forced capabilities to address barriers to women in peacekeeping.’
The 18-month duration Elsie Initiative project forms part of efforts to promote gender equality in the GAF.
The project, which is a collaboration between the GAF and Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC), with funding from Global Affairs Canada, followed recommendations of the 2020 Measuring Opportunity for Women in Peace Operations report.
The Project Coordinator of GAF,Colonel William Abotsi, saidthe Elsie initiative for women in peacekeeping sought to increase the participation of women in peacekeeping and other leadership position.
Col. Abotsi said the initiative had six components targeted at research, Elsie Initiative Fund, and bilateral relationship with Canada, United Nations Missions to apply to the fund to better the conditions of the women in the mission areas, Global Advocacy and other reports.
He said they had applied to the fund to do some projects including constructionof female accommodation at the Army Recruit Training School, Shia Hills and Liberia Training Centre at Tamale to give them better accommodation space during training.
“Then we are to conduct female recruitment campaign, this is about telling young women that there are opportunities in the Ghana Armed Forces, we want them to apply and go to theCombat and Combat Support Unit,”he added.
Col. Abotsi who is also the Point of Contact for GAF Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operation stated that GAF had already been doing a lot on gender mainstreaming, adding that there were a number of female commanders in commanding positions.
He said research found out that majority of the women were in the Service support unit,and were hardly seen in infantry, armour unit and naval unit.
The Programme Officer of Women Peace and Security Institute at the KAIPTC, Mrs Agnes Agbevadi, stated that the programme was about sensitisation of the personnel of GAF on the need to make the Armed Forces gender sensitive for equal opportunity and equal right for every woman to operate in.
“We were in Kumasi, Sunyani, Ho, Tamale and Damango to sensitise every personnel in the garrison in this region on the need to promote gender equality in GAF,” she added
Mrs Agbevadi stated that the tour of each garrison was structured to last five working days to sensitise both leadership and personnel of various garrison on broader objectives of the project, and the gender mainstreaming initiative of the GAF.
She stressed the need to promote gender equality in GAF to promote equal opportunity for men and women to exhibit their capabilities to support the service.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI
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