Women reflect on ways to prevent conflict as they mark International Day of Peace

Accra – Participants at an Open Day on Women Peace and Security in Ghana have called for support to empower all women groups and peace building organizations if women’s voices are to be heard in peace building efforts. 

Participants at the Open Day

In a 4-page recommendation presented to the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, participants highlighted the need to strengthen the capacity of women in conflict prone areas to participate and monitor elections, to sensitize and raise public awareness on the effects of conflicts and disputes by key stakeholders, and to strengthen public institutions such as the National Commission on Civic Education, security agencies and the Electoral Commission. The participants, mostly women, also called for extensive research on causes of conflict and its impact on women and the dissemination of such findings.  They are of the view that political parties should discourage and sanction any tendencies that could incite violence.  They added that every group including traditional leaders, religious bodies, the media, the judiciary and the electoral bodies all have a role to play in ensuring a peaceful and democratic election in the country come 2012 when Ghana goes to the poll.

The two-day Open Day provided participants the platform to collectively reflect, evaluate and clearly position themselves so as to amplify their voices on issues of leadership and the involvement of women in peace and security in Ghana. The unique experiences of Ghanaian women’s role in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 was documented and will form part of a report to be prepared and sent to the UN headquarters in New York for incorporation into the Global Open Day on Women Peace and Security.

The event was organized by the African Women Active Nonviolence for Social Change and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Institute in collaboration with the UN in Ghana.  It was held in commemoration of International Day of Peace.  The aim is to contribute to peaceful and credible elections in 2012 through enhanced participation and leadership of women in the implementation of SCR 1325 in Ghana.  Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, the Electoral Commission, security services, political parties, the Media and Civil Society Organizations.

Present at the function were the UN Resident Coordinator Ruby Sandhu-Rojon and the Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba.