The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has encouraged women to apply for various positions in the Military, saying there are no barriers in the military career.
The GAF said although there had been an increment in female applications into the Forces in recent years, a large number of women preferred to be in the service support units instead of combat support units.
Speaking to journalists at a sensitisation tour on gender mainstreaming at the Burma Camp in Accra on Monday, Colonel William Abotsi, the GAF Project Coordinator for the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, said the Armed Forces had put measures in place to ensure the meaningful participation of women in all activities.
“Research has found that a lot of our women are in the service support units and so you hardly see women in infantry, armoured units and airborne.
“Now it is coming up, so we are to tell them that opportunities are there. If you want to be whatever you want to be, apply. Nobody is going to stop you from achieving anything because you are a woman,” he said.
The sensitisation tour, which was in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) formed part of a Project dubbed: “Enhancing Ghana Armed Forces capabilities to address barriers to women in peacekeeping”.
Funded by the Global Affairs Canada, the 18-month Project seeks to build the capacity of the GAF to address the challenges undermining the deployment of women to UN peace operations.
The Project stemmed from the recommendations of the 2020 Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) Report, which examined GAF’s ability to deploy women to, and ensure their “meaningful participation” in UN peace operations.
The Report identified eligible pool, gender roles, and social exclusion as top barriers to women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations.
Col. Abotsi said the Project Team had so far toured six garrisons across the country and the target was to train about 14,000 military personnel and civilian employees on gender mainstreaming.
“When we say we are mainstreaming and including all these, it does not mean we are just collecting women into the Armed Forces. Whatever you are employed for you must be worth it and the promotions you get must be of merit,” he said.
Mrs Agnes Agbevadi, Programmes Officer at the Women Peace and Security Institute, KAIPTC, said the Project would lead to the development of a comprehensive gender policy for GAF to guide the process of mainstreaming gender in the Armed Forces.
As of March 2020, Ghana was the nine biggest Troop and Police-Contributing Countries (TPCC), and the third largest TPCC in Africa after Ethiopia and Rwanda with 2,782 personnel deployed.
It was also the TPCC that deployed the highest proportion of women (averaging 15 per cent) out of the top 10 TPCCs.