The UN is providing a 3.7 million dollar grant over three years to increase the number of Ghanaian military women in peacekeeping missions including in command positions.
The grant under the Elsie Initiative Fund, EIF, Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, seeks to transform the Ghana Armed Forces to be more gender-inclusive.
The EIF, a UN Trust Fund hosted by UN Women, supports the sustainable deployment and meaningful participation of uniformed women peacekeepers by providing financial assistance and incentives.
Ghana is the 7th highest contributor to UN peacekeeping, and currently deploys two thousand, 760 uniformed personnel, among which 15.6 per cent are women.
With the EIF grant, Ghana will increase its contribution of military women by deploying a Gender-Strong Unit, including in command positions to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, for three years and beyond.
Commenting on the grant, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, said the move will further enhance pre-deployment preparations and deployment of female soldiers.
He indicated that the EIF-funded project will address two of the most challenging barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peacekeeping operations.
These are a limited pool of trained and qualified women to deploy as peacekeepers, and inadequate infrastructure for women.
The CDS noted that specifically, the Ghana Armed Forces, will partner with the Women Peace and Security Institute of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre to launch a nation-wide campaign to address gender stereotypes and promote the recruitment and integration of women in leadership and combat roles.
Under the project, two accommodation facilities will be built designed specifically for women recruits to enable more women to be recruited and trained for deployment to UN peace operations.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani commended Ghana’s role as the top contributor of uniformed women in military contingents to UN missions.