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Regional News of Saturday, 13 March 2010

Source: GNA

Involve women in peace negotiations - Government told

Bolgatanga, March 13, GNA - Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyaroom, Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area in the Upper East Region, has underscored the need for government to include women in peace committees because they (women) have the power and the grace of influence to deal with conflict issues.

Making the suggestion during the celebration of this year's International Women Day Celebration held in Bolgatanga on Friday, Naba Aleemyaroom said women have the potentials to influence the making of peace in the country when given the opportunity. He therefore called on government to consider the inclusion of women especially in the peace committee formed to address the protracted Bawku conflict. He said Bawku is endowed with well educated women and appealed to them in Bawku especially the Mamprusis and Kusasis to come together as one in order to be able to influence the warring factions to lay down their arms. He appealed to government to always ensure that affirmative action on women received equal attention like their male counterparts.

Nansa Aleemyaroom said he had banned negative cultural practices such as widowhood rites, early marriages, force marriage, female genital mutilation among others which was a violation against women.

Mr Alosibah Azam, the Regional Secretary of the Regional Inter-Sectoral Gender Network (RISEGNET), urged government, community members, and religious groups, political parties to take the overall development of women seriously. He explained that women formed majority of the country's population and that if they were excluded from development, the country's development would not be whole.

The International Women Day, which was on the: "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity: Progress for All", was organized by the Upper East office of Action Aid Ghana. It attracted assemblywomen, traditional authorities, Civil Society Organizations among other bodies.

The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs Lucy Awini commended Action Aid Ghana for consistently complementing government efforts in bringing development to the doorsteps of the people in the region. She entreated the participants to educate and sensitize people on the importance of the theme of the celebration. She appealed to the general public to support women who would be contesting the District Assembly election scheduled to take place this year in order to increase women's participation at the local government level.