A five-day Commonwealth workshop to enhance the role of the traditional Queen Mothers in Ghana in delivering development will kick off on 16 May 2011 in Accra.
The event is jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
The workshop aims to support and to strengthen the capacity of Queen Mothers in the promotion of good governance in Ghana to improve the lives of ordinary people.
These female leaders are responsible for selecting and advising the chief, besides overseeing the welfare of women in their specific village or town. The Queen Mothers are also involved in settling disputes and resolving conflicts, particularly those involving women.
"This workshop offers the Queen Mothers an opportunity to share, explore and discuss issues related to women in governance and development," said Max Everest-Phillips, Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat's Governance and Institutional Development Division.
"The aim is to increase their knowledge and understanding of the roles and functions of traditional versus democratic institutions in strengthening good governance. The workshop will also help to facilitate co-ordination and collaboration among the Queen Mothers towards achieving development outcomes, including poverty reduction in line with national development targets and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It will provide a platform for them to share their views and concerns, and afterwards to continue to advocate even more effectively on women's rights and social justice."
Queen Mothers are being encouraged to participate in the local, regional and national assemblies of traditional leaders to promote good governance, as well as women's rights and their access to health and education. They often provide valuable inputs on customary law and practices and civil law.
Some 50 participants are expected to participate in the workshop which highlights issues such as good governance, human rights, ethics, accountability, poverty reduction, entrepreneurship and MDGs.