19th June, 2023: The Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in collaboration with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) are set to embark on a national campaign to sensitise and encourage women to choose combat and combat support arms when they have the opportunity to join the Armed Forces.
The campaign will officially commence with a media launch slated for Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at the KAIPTC. The launch would be under the distinguished Chairmanship of Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister for Defence, Ghana. The launch will be attended by the GAF Military High Command, a representative from The Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, some representatives of the nine (9) contributors to the Elsie Initiative Fund (EIF), among others.
The campaign forms part of the “Increasing Women Recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces for increased participation in UN Peace Operations” project, funded by The Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations.
The EIF seeks to increase the meaningful participation of women in United Nations peacekeeping operations and aims to “support and incentivize efforts to increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in United Nations peace operations”. The EIF, hosted by UN Women, was designed and established with the support of the broader Canadian Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, Member States, the UN system and peacekeeping experts. The Elsie Initiative Fund is an important step in encouraging and funding innovation to accelerate the pace of change in security institutions and to enable more uniformed women to meaningfully deploy to and participate in peace operations
The WPSI and GAF will conduct the communication and awareness raising campaign, both in-person and on social media – with key messaging that will focus on breaking down gender stereotypes, encouraging women to join the GAF and choose combat and combat support arms. The campaign will also highlight the full benefits of a military career, including equal opportunities, training, and career advancement and promotion.
The national campaign will cover visits to secondary and tertiary institutions in the 16 regions of Ghana to educate and expose female potential recruits to all the opportunities offered by GAF.
The visits to the secondary and tertiary institutions is not only to ignite the interest of young women to take up military careers, but to also furnish them with essential information to guide their decisions on which career path to choose in the Armed Forces.
The campaign will be complemented by the construction of women’s accommodation and facilities at the Army Recruit Training School (ARTS) at Shai Hills and the Daboya Training Camp. This will ensure that the GAF has adequate accommodation for the planned increase in numbers of women recruits.
One of the key targets of the Project is to increase the percentage of women recruited into the GAF from 16 per cent recorded in 2022 to 25 per cent by 2028, which will enable a larger eligible pool of women to be available for selection for deployment.
The GAF’s total strength comprises 16 per cent of women who are not well distributed within the arms and services of GAF, making fewer women eligible to deploy to operations.
The Project stemmed from the recommendations of the 2020 Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) Report, which examined GAF’s ability to deploy women to, and ensure their “meaningful participation” in UN peace operations. The Report identified eligible pool, gender roles, and social exclusion as top barriers to women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations.
At the end of the nationwide tour and campaign, it is expected that there will be increased awareness among women in second cycle and tertiary institutions as well as members of the wider Ghanaian public, of career opportunities in the GAF; improved knowledge and appreciation of the roles women currently play in GAF and mission operations, as well as the achievements of GAF female personnel; increased interest in females to join the GAF and opt for combat and combat support arms; increased knowledge among pre and post tertiary females, of the full benefits of a military career including equal opportunities, training, and career advancement and promotion.