On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary Celebration of Women Policing in Ghana I convey to you my warmest congratulations.
I bring you greetings from the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, the Women’s Caucus and the Select Committee on Defence and Interior.
The 1992 Constitution, specifically Art. 200(1) states that “There shall be a Police Service of Ghana.” Therefore, we can deduce that your existence is not a luxury, but a necessity.
As we celebrate 70 years of female policing in Ghana, we need to ensure that Ghana remembers this important milestone. We need to ensure that our beloved country continues to celebrate the achievements of the Ghanaian Policewoman who has selflessly set herself apart for the protection of the citizenry. I am very inspired by the fact that my mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, during her tenure as the Frist Lady of the Republic of Ghana, contributed her quota to the establishment of the Police Ladies Association, POLAS. She was also instrumental in ensuring that the policewomen and other women in the security services were given the opportunity to go on peacekeeping operations, which was indeed monumental in our history as a nation that had already established itself as one the most distinguished in the arena of Peace Support Operations by virtue of the stellar performance of its troops.
Indeed, as we refer to gender mainstreaming and as we strive to have greater equality in the various sectors, we must ensure that the Ghana Police Service remains a pacesetter. The Republic of Ghana must remain cognizant of the role that women have played in Policing in Ghana and the struggles that women have gone through and continue to encounter.
We have a duty as women to contribute towards good governance and that includes transparency, inclusivity, Rule of Law, safety and security, equity, accountability, and ethical leadership.
It has been over two decades since the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed. It focused on disproportionate impact of conflict on women and it further drew attention to gender balance, gender mainstreaming and accountability. Despite the UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions, very real challenges remain for women not only in policing, but across the other security agencies, so we cannot rest on our oars!
Given the number of women Ghana has deployed in Peacekeeping Missions/Peace Support Operations globally, it is quite clear that Ghana is an ahead of many other countries that have not met their quota of female participation and representation per the UN recommendations, therefore, you must celebrate yourselves. Ayekoo!
Currently, the very real challenge that we face now is the downward drift of the violent extremism and terrorism from the Sahel towards the Coastal Countries in the subregion. The Gulf of Guinea presents an added dimension of maritime crime which has an impact on our internal security, thereby broadening the scope of your mandate as Police Officers.
There has been an increasing number of women involved in terrorism in recent times, making the integral role of Female Police Officers ever so crucial at such a time! I entreat our Women in the Ghana Police Service to excel in all aspects of their training, including the physical aspects, and to take advantage of all opportunities to build their capacity and enhance the image of the Ghana Police Service.
As we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of women policing in our Beloved Ghana, let us remember that we are still breaking grounds. The glass ceiling is not completely shattered; we are still expecting to have a female Inspector General of Police, a Chief of the Defence Staff, a Chief of the Naval Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Army Staff, a Vice President and of course a President of our Republic. We’ve already had a Speaker of Parliament who is a woman, two women Chief Justices, the first of whom is one of yours, and I think it’s time for us to do more. Let us not rest until it becomes normal to have more women in leadership. But until then, we owe a duty to our forebears, we owe a duty to those yet to be born, we owe it a duty to our daughters and sons to level the playing field.
Finally, as we rejoice over this wonderful milestone, let’s remember that moving forward as a nation, if we are talking about gender equity, then the men need to be brought along. The conscientization and sensitization of men is key in achieving gender mainstreaming. Let us remember that when we have these events, we mustn’t preach to the choir. The men must be involved, we must make sure they understand the value of having women in peace and security. That is how we can ensure peace and stability.
I wish you all the best, Happy Anniversary. God bless us all.
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