Institute of Local Government Studies honours ten distinguished women
The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) on Tuesday awarded ten distinguished women from each of the ten regions of the country for their immense contribution to the deepening of local governance in their respective districts and the nation as a whole.
The ten award winners are Madam Veronica Atampoka Mba, a visually impaired Assembly Woman in Bongo District (Upper East Region); Madam Edith Evelyn Akpoto, former Presiding Member for Hohoe Municipal Assembly (Volta Region) and Elizabeth Anambiak Asampo, Assembly Women of the Kumbungu District (Northern Region).
Others are Claire Cynthia Der, former Presiding Member for Lambussie-Karni District Assembly (Upper West Region); Beatrice Bernie Boateng, former Member of Parliament for New Juabeng North Constituency (Eastern Region) and Victoria Norgbey, an Educationist and Governance Expert (Western Region).
The rest are Nana Ama Serwaa Nyarko, Queen mother of Offinso Traditional Area (Ashanti Region); Comfort Zormelo, former Assembly Woman at Medie (Greater Accra); Afua Kwartema Yamoah, former Assembly Woman for Agona East District (Central Region) and Comfort Perpetual Amoah, Assembly Woman for Hwediem Asona Electoral Area (Brong Ahafo Region).
The Institute also posthumously awarded five women for their dedication and selfless service to their districts when they were alive.
They were Hawa Yakubu, former Member of Parliament for Bawku, Florence Bentie, former District Chief Executive for Sisala, Regina Ayerko Apotsi, former Presiding Member for Manya Krobo and Sarah Kuntu-Atta, former District Chief Executive for Upper Denkyira.
Eight institutions that were also honoured include Abantu for Development, the National Association of Local Authorities in Ghana (NALAG), ActionAid Ghana, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) and United Nations Women.
The rest were the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ghana (FIDA), Women in Law Development in Africa (WILDAF) and IBIS Ghana.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who addressed the gathering, touted the importance of local governance in the country’s democratic dispensation.
She called for more attention to be given to local governance as it had direct bearing on the lives and participation in governance of those at the grassroots level.
She lauded the role of local governance as it served as the fertile grounds for nurturing those who wanted to get into politics fully.
Nana Lithur expressed concern about the low level of women’s involvement in local governance and called for the passage of the Affirmative Justice Bill to address issues relating to the more inclusion of women in politics.
Dr Esther Ofei-Aboakye, Executive Director of ILGS, expressed appreciation to the German Government for partnering with the Institute to carry out the exercise.
She lauded the role women played in the country’s democratic dispensation and called on all to pay particular attention to issues relating to women.
“Although women have and continue to play memorable and visible parts in local level development, these achievements have not been mapped, they have not been celebrated for what they have brought to the evolution of the assembly system in Ghana”, she stated.
She called for the promotion of women participation in local governance as it would definitely impact on their lives, other livelihoods and those of their families.
“At the Institute, we understand local governance as going beyond assembly membership, or being a staff member of an assembly – we see it as including all manner of ways in which the people participate in decisions and influence life in that locality”, she said.
She said those who received the awards were women who had worked very well and had their peers recognise them for their achievements.
Dr Maria Tekulve, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy in Accra, pledged the assistance of the German Government towards promoting gender equality in the Ghana.
She urged women to be inspired by the achievements of the award winners and take up positions in local governance with the aim of making an impact in their localities.