Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare, the Chief of Staff at the Presidency has appealed to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to create a special desk for females in GAF which would help address their concerns.
She said an exclusive desk to look at female-related issues in GAF will enhance their performance in the service, as well as influence policies that would remove barriers in female recruitment and advancement.
Mrs Osei Opare made this appeal at a historic All-Female Parade held at the Abugah Square, Armoured Reconnaissance (RECCE) Regiment, as part of a week-long celebration of 60 Years of Female Participation in Ghana's military.
Mrs Osei Opare said government was willing to offer any needed support to ensure gender parity in the military.
"Day-in day out, women are becoming aware of the need for them to join and remain in the mainstream of decision-making, play lead executive roles and with the awareness has emerged the realisation that, through hard work and perseverance, gender stereotyping may become a thing of the past", Mrs Opare Osei stated.
She said, women's actions must not be perceived to be competing for dominance, but rather as a compliment to their male counterparts.
Mrs Opare Osei said, Ghana would continue to support GAF to attain the United Nations recommended female quota in Peace Support Operations, making it vibrant and responsive to national and international obligations.
The parade had 22 officers and 203 soldiers of the Army, Navy and Air Force, forming 6 contingents, from Reviewing Officer, through the Parade Commander (Lieutenant Colonel – Lt Col – Evelyn Azera), the Contingent Commanders, Colour Party troop, the Regimental Band, Vehicle Display drivers and crew, Ambulance drivers and crew, Physical Training Instructors (PTIs), the Military Police (MP) to the Fly Past by the Diamond DA42 aircraft and the helicopter, all being females.
Awards were presented to retired and serving female military personnel who distinguished themselves in areas such as; Colonel (Col) Faustina Cecilia Yebuah (rtd) – Former Deputy Director of Medical Services and first Female Colonel of GAF, Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu – first Female Commanding Officer (CO) of the Pay Regiment and firstst Female General of GAF and was appointed as the Deputy Force Commander of the UN Mission in Western Sahara.
Others were; Naval Captain Faustina Boakyewaa Anokye Boakye – first Female Director of Civilian Establishment, Wing Commander Selassi Agbenyefia – first Female in West Africa to venture into Helicopter Pilot and first Female to ever Pilot in any UN Mission, Warrant Officer (WO1) Doris Enyonam Awittor – first Woman to be awarded the Base Commander's Award.
The rest were Ex WO1 Owusuaa – first Female to drive any heavy duty vehicle and with 30 years of meritorious service and WO2 Rosina Dogbatse – first Female Armoured Vehicle driver and Mechanical Engineer.
Records indicated that Ghana is the second highest contributor of troops to the United Nations peacekeeping operations. GAF women are deployed and gallantly performing peace support operations in Lebanon, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic either as observers or as part of formed troops.
Dignitaries present at the parade included; the Defence Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul, Deputy Defence Minister and MP for Nkoranza – Major Derek Oduro (rtd), the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of the Army Staff – Major General William (Maj Gen) Azure Ayamdo, Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and Chief of the Air Staff – Air Vice Marshall Frank Hanson.