The Eastern Regional Peace Council collaborated with Akyemansa District to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day of Peace and Disarmament on May 24, 2023, at Ofoase in the Akyemansa District.
This is the first celebration in the Eastern Region and Ghana at large. The celebration was under the theme Achieving Gender Inclusivity in Peacebuilding: The Role of Women. The event was graced by dignitaries such as chiefs, queen mothers, the Chief Superintendent of Police for Kwahu Nkwatia Division, Marian Serwaa Osei-Adu, the Acting Chief Information Officer of Parliament House of Ghana, Gloria Sarku Kumawu, the District Director of Education, Madam Joyce Afriyie Agyapong, the District Chief Executive, Hon. Mr. Paul Asamoah, and the Honorable Minister for Information and MP for Ofoase Ayirebi, Hon. Oppong Nkrumah, among many others. The event was chaired by a representative of Ofoase Chief, Nana Yeboah Asiamah, Assembly members, security personnel, students, etc.
In his address, the Chairman of ERPC, Dr. Mark Boadu, expressed gratitude to Hon. Paul Asamoah and staff at Akyemansa District Assembly for their support and called on other stakeholders to continuously support the Eastern Regional Peace Council to serve the region better. He indicated the celebration as the tone for effective engagement and preparation for full-scale gender inclusivity in peacebuilding, particularly during chieftaincy, land, and election-related issues. He called for efforts to address barriers to advancing the inclusion of women at all levels, adding that women’s involvement amounts to greater developments.
Chief Superintendent of Police, Kwahu Nkwatia Division, Marian Serwaa OSei-Adu, speaking on the topic ‘Preventing Violent Extremism: The Gender Perspective and Women’s Role,” called on women to be awake and concerned with the happenings in society and report any foul behaviors to appropriate authorities for redress, particularly strange behaviors from relatives. She encouraged the women to continuously exercise their customary roles and follow up on who their relatives play with, where they go, and what they do.
On her part, Gloria Sarku Kumawu, Ag. Chief Information Officer, Parliament House, entreated women to begin the search for peaceful elections. She indicated the shared responsibilities of every citizen to ensure peaceful elections, with a particular call on women to take the lead in campaigning for peaceful elections before, during, and after, as women are the most affected in times of conflict. She implored the women to engage their relatives, particularly their husbands, children, and relatives, in active politics because of the need to ensure and maintain peace. She said these and more when addressing the gathering on ‘Shaping peace together: the woman factor in ensuring a peaceful election in 2024’.
On how to ensure peaceful co-existence in Akyemansa district, the District Director of Education, Joyce Afriyie Agyapong, entreated the women to allow mediators and due process to take their course in times of settlement of issues. She entreated women not to give in to naysayers, who often influenced them to stage protests against authorities and peaceful processes. She called on them to inculcate good training virtues into their children and influence husbands and elders in society on the need to live in peace.
The Minister of Information and Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, called for continuous dialogue as a means to an end. He called on the people to do away with guns, machetes, clubs, stones, insults, and all other offensive weapons as a means of disarmament and resort to dialogue to address differences. He also called on those who fuel conflicts to desist from such behaviors, as the rippling effects are disastrous.
Various women groups, queen mothers, women wings of various political parties, students, assembly members, artisans, religious leaders, etc. took turns to pledge their commitment to peace and readiness to ensure peace in Akyemansa District and beyond.