“Women and children are the most vulnerable in times of instability and violence. Hence it is vital for women and youth to play a key role in sustaining peace. Norway is proud to be an advocate of this women led initiative.” Ms Mia Kämäräinen, Programme Officer at the Norwegian Embassy, said in her address at the launch ceremony.
Ms Kämäräinen spoke on behalf of the donors, together with the Canadian High Commissioner.
“Women’s Situation Room was recognized as the best practice at the African Union and since has been successfully replicated in Senegal, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. We firmly believe that the success story of Women’s Situation Room will continue in Ghana during the December 2016 elections, and we can yet again, observe peaceful elections in Ghana,” she said.
Before the launch at the Conference Centre grounds, about 1000 women dressed in white marched through the principal streets of Accra expressing their desire for peace during and after December 2016 elections. The group visited the headquarters of two main political parties and submitted a petition of peace and urged the parties to commit to peaceful election period.
A march was organized simultaneously in Cape Coast with similar activities taking place. After the march in Accra the women gathered to the Accra International Conference Centre grounds to observe the official launch of WSR Ghana.
After opening prayer and welcome statement from Ms Bruce-Lyle a Convener of the WSR Ghana, the UN Resident Coordinator Ms Christine Evans-Klock delivered a statement.
During the statements made by stakeholders the message from the EC Chairperson Charlotte Osei was very clear, she declared that the EC was hundred percent ready to stage the December 7 polls to determine the new President and set of parliamentarians who will serve for 4 years. She further advised the public to be vary of half truths about the elections process. because most of those pieces of information were based on emotions not facts. She said that when women put their minds at tasks they excel, stating that women form the largest bloc in the country and on the electoral registry. Ms Osei concluded her informative statement to point out that “peace is really in our hands as women, we cannot fail our mothers and sisters”.
The initiator of the WSR and Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh delivered her message and introduced the Champion of the WSR, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who delivered her speech through a video message reiterating the success of WSR in Liberia expressing hope that the success will also continue in Ghana.
The official launch of the WSR was closed by Ms Obaapa Adwoa Ankyaa I, Nkosohma of Afigya-Kwabre District. Her message for all the women of Ghana was that they should not stay complacent. “If we don’t move on it, it will not happen.” Peace is in the hands of the women in Ghana.