Report by Abu Mubarik,
for Inform Ghana
Institutionalizing women’s role in peace building within the security sector remains low. Interaction with women in conflict situations in Ghana show that women actually participate actively in peace processes and mediation in Ghana but their efforts are largely found in the informal sphere, Tolulope Tamoka writes.
Tolulope Lewis Tamoka, who is also the Programme Manager of United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP), made this known in the Institute of Economic Affairs’ bi-monthly Governance Newsletter publication under the topic “Women’s Leadership and Participation in Addressing Peace and Security.”
According to him, a review of Ghana’s security institutions shows that they are dominated by men. Ghana’s police service has a disparity ratio of zero females to eight males in some cases. In the military, though women are present in peace and support operations, the sex ratio is very low, ranging from approximately 1 to 8 males mission in the Cote d’Ivoire mission in 2010 and 1 to 4 males in the Democratic Republic of Congo mission in the same year.
More than a decade after the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, women’s leadership and participation in peace building around the world is yet to be fully recognised, UNSC 1325 emphasises the importance of equal women’s participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace. It also calls for the inclusion of women and a gender perspective at all levels of decision-making; for the need to increase women’s role in decision making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution, and endorses the inclusion of civil society groups in peace processes. It calls on all actors involve in such processes to adopt mechanism supporting local women initiatives.
Tamoka posited that it is important for women to be recognised as agents of change, and as partners in “reshaping and rebuilding communities affected by conflict.
Tamoka also advocated for specialised training, skills development and increased funding of institutions and organizations addressing gender based violence.
To this end, he said continuous advocacy with the security sector and peacekeeping missions is required in making the recruitment process more gender sensitive so that women will be encouraged to apply to the sector.
Women already in the security sector should also be encouraged to rise to the highest ranks, he noted.
National and international funding mechanism like the United Nations Trust Fund, he noted, must be sought to ease budgetary constraints for dealing with all forms of violence against women and girls.