Home » Queen Mothers Demand Inclusion in Ghana’s Governance

Queen Mothers Demand Inclusion in Ghana’s Governance

Traditional female leaders seek representation in chieftaincy institutions and government

by Victor Adetimilehin

Ghana’s Queen Mothers, the traditional female leaders who are mostly responsible for women’s and children’s issues in their communities, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the marginalisation of women in the decision-making process at all levels in the country. They have called on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, to address their concerns and ensure their representation in the Regional and National House of Chiefs.

The Queen Mothers, who are estimated to number about 10,000 across the country, paid a courtesy call to the Speaker on Tuesday, July 27, 2023, to seek answers on why they are not included in the decision-making at the regional and national levels. They said they have been silenced for a long time and their voices are not heard, especially when the cases involve a Queen Mother and a Chief. They also said they are not consulted by the government on issues affecting their communities and the nation at large.

Nana Otubea II, the President of the Queen Mother’s Association in Ghana, said the word “chief” in the Constitution is gender silent, so the men have taken advantage of it and excluded them from the chieftaincy institutions. She said the Queen Mothers are also recognised in the Constitution as partners to the chiefs and mothers to the whole community. She appealed to the Speaker to use his influence to ensure that the Queen Mothers are given their rightful place in the governance system.

The Speaker, who is also a lawyer and a former Minister of Health, commended the Queen Mothers for their initiative and assured them of his support. He said he is aware of the challenges they face and the important role they play in the development of their communities and the country. He said he will work with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to address their grievances and ensure that they are involved in the decision-making process at all levels. He also urged them to continue to champion the cause of women and children and promote peace and unity in the country.

The Queen Mothers’ visit to the Speaker is part of their efforts to reclaim and modernise their traditional role, which has been undermined by colonialism and patriarchy. They have also formed a network with other women traditional leaders across Africa, who share similar challenges and aspirations. The network, which was launched in 2021, aims to speak with one voice on continental-wide issues and have a real impact on the development of Africa.

The Queen Mothers’ quest for inclusion and empowerment is in line with the global agenda of achieving gender equality and women’s rights, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Gender Gap Report, Ghana ranks 101st out of 156 countries in terms of gender parity, with low scores in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The report also shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gender gap and reversed the progress made in the past decades.

The Queen Mothers hope that their advocacy and activism will help to bridge the gender gap and bring about positive changes in their communities and the country. They believe that their inclusion in the decision-making process will enhance the quality of governance and the well-being of the people.

Source: GhanaWeb

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