The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as part of the activities to mark 60 years of female participation in the Ghana Armed Forces has held a route march to officially launch the celebration at the Armed Forces Sports complex on Friday 2 August 2019.
Speaking at the occasion, the Representative at Comptroller and Accountant General Department at the Ministry of Defence, Brig Gen Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu who also doubles as the senior most female officer, revealed that the theme for the occasion is "empowering female participation in the peace and security for national development."
She disclosed that 60 years ago, the first President of the Republic, Dr Kwame Nkrumah as part of his vision to give equal opportunity to all, instituted the inclusion of females into GAF which saw the enlistment of the first female officer, Major Mercy Addo (Rtd) who was commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces in January 1958. She added that in 1963, the first batch of twelve (12) females were recruited to the Signals Regiment. Saying “the number had increased massively throughout the years.”
Brig Gen Edjeani noted that the success story of the females in the Ghana Armed Forces could not be under estimated. She emphasized that women had gone past the days of "no marriage, no child bearing days" and exclusion from external peace keeping operations and thus females participation in the UN Peacekeeping now has exceeded the threshold of 15%.
She thanked the military high command for demarcating a land to the women for the construction of a recreational centre for their children.
She then pledged the support of her fellow women to assist GAF achieve its constitutional mandate.
In his opening address, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa acknowledged the efforts of the planning committee and congratulate them on a successful celebration.
He then quoted a speech from the first President of the Republic, Dr Kwame Nkrumah on the eve of Ghana's independence celebration saying" the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent".
He took a cue from the statement and made a declaration to all the females of GAF, that, “the forward march of the Ghana Armed Forces will be meaningless unless it is linked up with the total cooperation of the women of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He congratulated the women for demonstrating high sense of strength and capabilities throughout the years to ensure the success story of GAF.