The Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, says Ghana is one of the first countries in the world to cross the United Nations (UN) bar for gender parity effort of ten percent by promoting woman to occupy senior strategic positions in the Army.
He said the GAF crossed the UN gender parity mark with 18 percentage point, making it the first military institution in the world to achieve this feat.
“These efforts are aimed at creating an inclusive force that brings balance to its personnel. The days of tokenism are long gone and the Ghana Armed Forces is on the path to meaningfully mainstream to ensure an inclusive,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Andoh was speaking at the GAF celebration of International Women Day held under the theme: “Digit all: Innovation and technology for gender equity,” at Burma Camp in Accra yesterday.
The theme of the Ghana Armed Forces for the Day was: “Enhancing GAF’s innovative gender equity strides for an inclusive Force.”
He touted the achievements by stating that the GAF was the first military institution in the world to have undertaken the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operation (MOWIP) assessment and published results online within three years.
The Chief of Staff explained that the assessment revealed some positive strides worth replicating in other militaries around the world, as well as some highlighted areas that required addressing.
According to him, the GAF, through the Elsie Initiative Fund, was undertaking a number of projects to enhance effective female roles, adding that these projects were media campaigns to engage potential female recruits and cadets, construction of a 300-bed capacity accommodation for female recruits at the Army recruit training centres at Shai Hills (200) and Daboya Training Camp (100).
“The Ghana Armed Forces has also set a new international peacekeeping record by deploying 20% of females in UNIFIL as part of the Elsie/UN Gender Strong Unit effort. This deployment has set GAF as a role model for the world,” he added.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Martine Moreau commended GAF for attaining an institutional culture that is more inclusive for both women and men, saying: “we are thankful for the Ghana Armed Forces for being such an innovative action-oriented and committed partner on the Elsie initiative.
She stated that Ghana is promoting gender-mainstreaming at the backdrop of being one of the world’s largest contributors of women peacekeepers to UN missions, stressing: “Canada is deeply committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in all aspect of society including the defence and security sector.”
Major Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant of the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAITC), also lauded GAF for its significant progress for bridging the gender gap, particularly deploying more women to peacekeeping beyond the UN benchmark.
He commended the Canadian Government through the Elise Initiative for supporting and promoting gender mainstreaming in the Army.
Gender Advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff, Naval Captain Veronica Arhin stated that GAF continue to make progress gender mainstreaming – quality and equity in recruitment and retention.
According to her, this was necessary because gender mainstreaming requires inclusion of both males and females in all activities, operations, administration logistics and so forth.