Former First Lady and President of the 31st December Women’s Movement, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings says emerging democracies will only grow from strength to strength if women are supported to participate in political leadership and conflict management.
She said: “It is only when women are part of policy planning and implementation that we see the requisite improvement in the lives of women.”
A statement issued from the Office of Former President Jerry John Rawlings said the former First lady was delivering the keynote address at a conference on enhancing women’s participation in conflict management and political leadership in emerging democracies organized by the Certified Institute of Public Administrators (CIPA).
She said though women had their destiny in their hands they had to work hard to make that destiny a reality.
“Almost every country within the region has some kind of gender process going on within civil society or the national legal framework, but those structures will not automatically make you a Parliamentarian, Minister, District Chief Executive, Vice-President or President unless we take the bull by the horn and prove that we have the capability, the capacity, the competence and more importantly the strength of character to manage these roles. I can. So can you.”
Nana Konadu rallied women to be agents of change saying “we can be a powerful source of knowledge and skills within our various communities”.
“Women cope better when faced with all the various environmental challenges and difficulties and have always been able to adjust and improvise. Our key position as protectors of the household means we cannot shy away from participating in local governance and in the process extend our reach to regional and national developmental and political roles,” she said.
The Director-General of CIPA, Dr. Felix Lowen, said the Summit was organised to develop a workable blueprint for a successful eradication of gender discrimination particularly in Nigeria and Ghana.