Women issues form crucial part of good governance – Dr Koranteng

Women issues have been identified as crucial part of good governance, commitment to recognise their roles in the communities is among the political values of the Commonwealth heritage.

Dr Roger Koranteng, Adviser (Governance) GIDD, Commonwealth Secretariat UK, who made the observation, said there should be efforts to ensure queen-mothers were recognised for equality in governance and Ghanaian women’s concerns and rights were adequately advocated for, represented and protected in the governance and development discourse.

“Queen-mothers are credited to be the folder for social and traditional institutions, they are also the decision-makers, role models and custodians of our social heritage,” he added.

Dr Koranteng was addressing the closing session of a five-day National Queen-mothers Conference at GIMPA in Accra on Monday.

It was on the theme: “Promoting Good Governance: The Role of Queenmothers in Ghana”.

The conference was jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat the major sponsor, government, the World Bank, UNFPA, Development Care Foundation, ASNAPP, Premier Productions Company, Development Queens Foundation Ghana and Media Partners.

It was to support and strengthen the capacity of queen-mothers not only in the promotion of good governance but also to enhance their role of delivering development outcomes to their communities.

The conference also provided a platform for them to share their views and concerns, and afterwards to continue to advocate even more effectively on women’s rights and social justice.

It brought to the fore the significance of queen-mothers in the promotion of good governance and development in Ghana, to increase knowledge and understanding of the roles of queen-mothers in strengthening good governance.

Others were to enhance collaborative strategies for queen-mothers to implement poverty reduction projects towards achieving MDGs and design a framework to facilitate organisations, coordination and collaboration of queen-mothers in the country.

The participants were exposed to varied but related subject areas such as the introduction to good governance, concepts and practices; role of oversights institutions in promoting good governance and basic law in traditional governance.

The rest were why queen-mothers should be development oriented; entrepreneurship development – how to start your business; supporting midwives to accelerate progress towards MDGs – the vital role of queen-mothers; progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Ghana; queen-mothers in development, accelerating efforts on the attainment of MDGs in Ghana.

The conference was planned to offer a total package to enable participants to achieve the programme objectives, which was to offer them the learning opportunity to gain deeper understanding on governance and development issues, as well as the design and implementation of specific strategies to reduce poverty and achieving MDGs.

Participants were given opportunity to share their own experiences and practices in order to cross fertilize ideas.

Dr Koranteng noted that the conference was yet another opportunity for Commonwealth Founders’ dream particularly to promote the understanding of global issues, international cooperation and the work of commonwealth organisations, which aim to improve the lives of its citizens.

Dr Koranteng said among the important shared values of Commonwealth family of nations, gender equality had been given special attention. The theme for the Commonwealth Day 2011 is: “Women as Agent of Change”.

The theme will be the focus of Commonwealth Heads of Governments and Heads of State (CHOGM) meeting this year in Australia.

“The theme: “Women as Agent of Change” means by investing in women and girls, we can accelerate social, economic and political progress in our communities,” he added.

Dr Koranteng underscored the special relationship Commonwealth Secretariat had with the Government of which was now benefiting queen-mothers in Ghana.

“Your people are looking up to you so do not let them down. Don’t be discouraged because of the numerous obstacles and challenges you might be confronted with presently and in the future.

“Please for your communities and posterity, seek to carry on the fight, in a dignified and graciously manner. Use all the best skills at your disposal to get projects and programmes to develop your communities. I will be monitoring you to see if your participation in this course and five days absence from home were useful or wasteful,” he added.

Source: GNA

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