By Emmanuel Todd, GNA
Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - A two-day workshop to identify barriers to Women’s participation in peace operations within the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) supported by Global Affairs Canada, through its project, “Elsie Initiative” has been held in Accra.
The workshop brought on board Officers from all the three arms of the GAF– Army, Navy and Airforce under the Initiative, which focused on Gender Equality and Security Sector Governance.
Brigadier General Elvis K. Mends, the Director General, International Peace Support Operations, said the workshop would situate strategic, operational and tactical level institutional planning within the framework of democratic security governance.
This will ensure that changes at the institutional level targeted the whole institution and should be long-term and sustainable.
Brig. Gen. Mends said it was important that stakeholders understood some of the positive and negative outcomes of the Initiative to avoid it becoming counter-productive after its implementation.
“I believe this purpose will be achieved to a large extent by the end of this workshop,” he said.
The Initiative was not all about women, but its implementation would recognise the role men played in peace support operations, he said.
He commended the Canadian High Commission, Geneva Centre for Gender Equality and Security Governance (DCAF), the Elsie Initiative Implementation Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and the GAF for their roles towards the implementation of the Initiative.
Madam Diane Tisdall, Senior Liaison Officer at the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, said the world was experiencing significant human security transnational challenges, which required increased international support.
She said the rise in conflict and natural disasters required United Nation’s peace operations.
Madam Tisdall said women's participation increased the effectiveness of the operations and that Canada and Ghana were working together to support transformational institutional change to increase women’s participation in peace support operations.
She said the Elsie Initiative would identify institutional barriers that impede their participation and help to develop priorities and an action plan for transformational change.
The Canadian Armed Forces would be providing technical assistance and training to GAF to support their Action plan.
Madam Heather Huhtanen of DCAF, and the facilitator, took the participants through the component of providing effective and accountable “Security for the State and the People.”
This included; analyzing the principles of governance and how they could be applied in the context of the armed forces.
Gender equality is said to be an integral component of governance and linked to advancing the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions.