Kumasi — The National Peace Council (NPC) has observed that Ghana cannot truly flourish if it stifles the potentials of women and deprives itself of their contributions toward conflict resolution.
According to the Council, if Ghana is desirous of development, it should be twice as much desirous of empowering and including women in conflict management decision-making.
"There is much urgency to empower women more than ever as our country's socio-political atmosphere is now highly polarised," Chairman of the NPC, Most Rev Professor Emmanuel Asante stated.
He was speaking at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for selected Paramount Queen Mothers in Ashanti Region, here on Thursday.
Sponsored by the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI), it was aimed at increasing the women's voices and empower them in conflict management, ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Among the topics were, "conflict escalation," conflict de-escalation," "conflict analysis."
According to the Chairman, the mere fact that males have been dominating the conflict management process in the country, "does not mean that the field is impermeable by women."
He said for the government of Canada to support the capacity building of the queen mothers, "is a proof that there is dire need to empower women and give them the opportunity to change the narrow perspective some people have about their strength in an ever growing democracy like ours."
Most Rev Prof Asante urged women to raise their voices and establish a new world order in terms of how people perceive their strength, when it comes to conflict resolution."
Mr Pasquale Salvaggio, Political Advisor at the High Commission of Canada in Ghana, recognised the role traditional rulers play, especially queen mothers, in conflict management in Ghana, and was full of praise for the queen mothers for attaching importance to the capacity building workshop.
He said there was a mounting evidence that the participants were already in the habit of sustaining peace, traditionally, but said the training would sharpen their skills to go extra miles in conflict resolution.
Mr Slavaggio mentioned that women's empowerment in the promotion of peace, served as a powerful tool for moving from gender inequality to gender justice, conflict and violence to sustaining peace, and to building prosperous and stable societies
Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei- Mensah, in a speech read on his behalf, noted it was unfortunate that, over the past years, women have been marginalised in peace and security processes, in spite of the fact that women's participation in conflict prevention, "contributes to more effective responses to today's complex crisis, and that they play critical but under-utilized roles in preventing conflict and sustaining peace."
According to the Minister, women have proved to be fundamental to social change that prevent conflicts through their capacity to bridge crises, and therefore, enhancing and encouraging their representation, especially, the queen mothers, at all decision-making levels, while at the same time using them as champions of peace, remains very critical."
Nana Gyankoma Difie II, Paramount Queen Mother of Asante Mampong, who is member of the NPC, commended government of Canada for the support to improve their skills toward conflict management, something she said, "We have been doing that in our own small way."