From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
The occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has lauded women for their contributions to the Ghanaian society, with a call on the world to be patient with women, even in situations of misunderstanding.
The Ashanti Monarch explained that women are quite crucial in every society, and that the house belongs to women, and even before the spirit of Asanteman came to the fore, women supported the males as a natural phenomenon.
The Asantehene also expressed worry about teenage pregnancy, which, he said, should be a cause of worry to everyone, and called on men to give special attention to women and children for Ghana to benefit at large.
Opemsuo Osei Tutu made this appeal at the Manyhia Palace during Queenmothers’ Day celebration, a day set aside as part of the 20th Anniversary of the Asantehene’s enstoolment.
The colourful event brought together all queenmothers in the Ashanti Kingdom, which was celebrated with the display of the various Ashanti indigenous delicacies prepared by the queenmothers.
Among some of the foods prepared were Oguor, Aprenprensa, Edebe, fufuo, rice balls and a host of others. The queenmothers danced in their beautiful traditional costumes to ‘adoa’ and other indigenous tunes.
The Queenmother of Ejisu, Nana Yaa Asantewaa II, showed rare bravery when she entered the event grounds amid the sporadic firing of musketry. Asantehemaa Nana KonaduYiadom II came to the event grounds shortly after the arrival of the Queenmother of Maampong .
On behalf of the Asantehemaa, Otumfuo thanked the queenmothers for their participation in the programme.
Espousing further how relevant women are crucial in societal development, the Asantehene, who was in a sleek green, black and yellowish weaved cloth designed with adinkra symbols, revealed that even before the issue of gender become known in modern society, Ashantes already knew about it.
The Asantehene noted that his elders know that when issues of misunderstandings between a chief and a queenmother are reported to him, he always sides with the women, even before he opens an inquiry into the case.
The Asantehene was emphatic that women are so important to his kingdom, and because of that a day was set aside to honour and thank them for what they have done for the Ashanti kingdom and beyond.
He mentioned that if a chief can do something, women will have to support him, and urged the queenmothers (women) to be good mothers, by advising chiefs to administer their various communities accordingly.
Acknowledging the beautiful traditional costumes of the queenmothers, Otumfuo Osei Tutu charged women: “Be vigilant wherever you find yourselves, and instill good manners in our children.”
The Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Madam Fremah Opare, who was the Guest of Honour, congratulated Otumfuo on his anniversary, saying that he has ruled his kingdom magnificently. Your legacy goes beyond the Ashanti Kingdom and Ghana as a whole.
Speaking under the theme “Deepening our Cultural Heritage through Socio-Economic Development”, she noted that it was nice to have a day set aside for queenmothers, and this signified how the Ashanti Kingdom respects women.
Using the late Yaa Asantewaa, who was the Queenmother of Ejisu, as an example, Fremah Opare noted that everyone knows what she did for the Ashantis.
She explained at the event that women are those who build households, and that they do a lot of things, including marriage, upbringing of children and others.
She lauded the Asantehene for his support for the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG), which called for massive female education drive, and support for women to be independent, in that they have to learn a profession as well, which will help them to be economically independent.
Whilst the Chief of Staff continued that the demonstration by the Asantehene had revealed that women are so dear to him and his kingdom, and appealed to the Asantehene to sustain his laudable initiative.
Fremah Opare continued that President Akufo-Addo, who is the Co-Chair of the sustainable development goals, had set up a unit at the Presidency, where issues related to the SDGs are handled.
She thanked Otumfuo for the guidance, counsel and care, and lauded the Golden Stool Occupant for his call to make nursing mothers feel comfortable at workplaces, and that nursery education and other facilities should be made available at workplaces for the benefit of women.