Seminar On Gender, Conflict And Peacebuilding, Held At University Of Energy And Natural Resources (UENR) Auditorium, Sunyani
The Bono Regional Peace Council in collaboration with the Centre for Professional Development, UENR, held a 1-day seminar on 1st August, 2022, on gender, conflict and peacebuilding. The theme of the seminar was “towards gendered peacebuilding processes for sustainable peace”. The aim was to create awareness of women’s role in conflict, peacebuilding and strengthen collaboration for increased participation of women in decision making.
The seminar was attended by leaders and representatives of the Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Fire Service, Immigration Service, GRA (Customs Division), Prisons Service, National Intelligence Bureau, Political Parties, Christian Mothers’ Association, Federation of Muslim Women Association in Ghana (FOMWAG), Members from Academia, Association of Women Leaders in Public Service, Notre Dame Girls Senior High School (Shalom Club) and Family of the late Nana Yaa Nyamaa II. The seminar brought together about 100 participants across the region.
The welcome address was delivered by the Regional Executive Secretary of the Bono Regional Peace Council, Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, on behalf of the Council’s Chairman, Rev. Fr. William Kyere. The opening speech was delivered by Nana Kessewaa on behalf of the Regional Minister, Hon. Justina Owusu Banahene. The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Mrs. Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi, who doubled as the Chairperson for the seminar. There were remarks by Hon. Anso Kumi, MCE of Sunyani Municipal, and the Vice Chancellor of UENR, Prof. Elvis Asare Bediako. A good will message was given by Madam Theresa Adjei Mensah, on the role of the late Nana Yaa Nyamaa II in conflict resolution.
During the opening ceremony, the Council’s Chairman, Rev. Fr. William Kyere in his address read on his behalf by the Regional Executive Secretary of the Bono Regional Peace Council, Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, educated participants on the mandate of the National Peace Council. He further added that to achieve sustainable peace we must all work together in an integrated and coherent way, otherwise the drums of war will drown the music of peace. The role and contributions of women to the Culture of Peace is not only important because women represent the majority of the global population, but also because women are key drivers of the radical change of mindsets, institutions and cultures that we seek. He continued that the promotion and achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment are crucial to advancing the culture of peace in all its vectors — education, sustainable economic and social development, human rights and equality, democratic participation, and understanding at all levels in the family, community, region and the country as a whole. He therefore stressed the need for concerted efforts by all to realize this objective.
The Hon. Regional minister, Justina Owusu Banahene in his address, read on her behalf, welcomed the initiative as one of the important areas to be looked at, as women are key to achieving sustainable peace and development solutions; whether peace building, peace keeping or conflict and crises response. She further asserted that, women’s involvement in peace negotiations contributes to the quality and durability of peace agreements, as well as a higher number of provisions aimed at political reform and higher implementation rates. ‘‘the inclusion of women can and must take many forms, especially in the effort of addressing chieftaincy conflict which is tearing the region apart. The end of these conflicts cannot be forged through only a top-down peace process and only men at the negotiating table, instead it requires a more inclusive process – on e that includes women playing more pivotal roles in building peace from the bottom up as well as from the top down, engaging multiple stake holders’’.
Presentations were made on pertinent issues concerning gender and peacebuilding.
Understanding Conflict, Conflict Resolution and the role of Women – Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah.
The Relevance of ADR in Ghanaian Society – Dr. Mrs. Vida Korang.
Gender Inequality and its Implications on Peace – Madam Jocelyn Adii.
The Law, Gender and Peace and Security – Theophilous Apoh
The Chairperson, Prof. Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi in her concluding remarks stated that, peace is critical for national development, and thus needs urgent but in-depth multidimensional approaches in order to positively change the status quo of men being paramount in policy and decision making. To develop, we need both men and women functioning together and actively in their individual capacities devoid of marginalization and exclusion. ‘‘The time is now to take action. Peace is the only value that can produce holistic transformation and development of any nation.’’
Women have every right to vie for leadership positions. Societies can only appreciate the importance and benefits of women participation, if they are given the opportunity to maximize their untapped capacities and abilities. With a more conscious and supportive policy, we can build a truly democratic, equal and inclusive society. Therefore, the need for rising of different advocacy for women’s role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution will give a greenlight for a true democracy in our region.