The female soldiers on parade
The Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Akosua Frema Osei Opare has appealed for the creation of a special female desk within the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), to see to exclusive female-related issue such as influencing policies.
She spoke at a historic All-Female Parade held at the Abugah Square, Armoured Reconnaissance (RECCE) Regiment, at Burma Camp in Accra.
The parade was the climax of a week-long celebration of 60 years of female enlistment into the Ghana Armed Forces.
“Day in and day out, women are becoming aware of the need for them to join and remain in the mainstream of decision making, play lead executive roles and with that awareness, has emerged the realization that, through hard work and perseverance, gender stereotyping may become a thing of the past,” Mrs Opare Osei stated.
The Chief of Staff urged their male counterparts not to see the women’s actions to be competition for dominance, but rather as complementary to their male counterparts.
The parade had 22 officers and 203 soldiers of the Army, Navy and Air Force in 6 contingents.
Also on parade were the colour party, the Regimental Band, Vehicle Display drivers and crew, Ambulance drivers and crew, Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) and Military Policewomen.
Some female pilots displayed their flying skills.
Awards were presented to retired and serving female military personnel who have distinguished themselves. Among them were: Col Faustina Cecilia Yebuah (rtd) – Former Deputy Director of Medical Services and 1st Female Colonel of GAF; Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu – 1st Female Commanding Officer (CO) of the Pay Regiment and 1st Female General of GAF and who was appointed as the Deputy Force Commander of the UN Mission in Western Sahara.
Others include Navy Captain Faustina Boakyewaa Anokye Boakye – 1st Female Director of Civilian Establishment, Wing Commander Selassi Agbenyefia – 1st Female in West Africa to venture into helicopter piloting and 1st Female to ever Pilot in any UN Mission, Warrant Officer (WO1) Doris Enyonam Awittor – 1st Woman to be awarded the Base Commander’s Award.
Others were Ex WO1 Owusuaa – 1st Female to drive a heavy duty vehicle and backed by 30 years of meritorious service and WO2 Rosina Dogbatse – 1st Female Armoured Vehicle driver.
Dignitaries present at the parade included the Defence Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul, Deputy Defence Minister and MP for Nkoranza – Major Derek Oduro (rtd), the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of the Army Staff – Major General (Maj Gen) William Azure Ayamdo, Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and Chief of the Air Staff – Air Vice Marshall Frank Hanson.
The rest were the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters (GHQ) – Maj Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the Commandant, Military Academy Training Schools – Maj Gen William Omane-Agyekum, Commandant, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour and a female General of the Canadian Air Force and of the Elsie Initiative – Brig Gen Lise Bourgon.
By Linda Tenyah Ayettey