Monday, January 28, 2008

‘Queen mothers also deserve state stipend’

‘Queen mothers also deserve state stipend’

The Ghanaian Times, Monday, January 28, 2008. Page 21 (Regional News)

Winston Tamakloe, Ho

Queen mothers in the Volta Region have questioned why paramount chiefs and chiefs are given stipends by the state and not queen mothers. They explained that they have been supporting their male counterparts to govern their respective communities and wonder why the state should deprive them of their share of royalties.

“We have supportive of our male counterparts and the state must take another look at how stipends should be disbursed among traditional authorities so that together we can sustain peace, unity, harmony and stability within our communities to accelerate socio-economic development,” they stressed.

The queen mothers questioned and raised concerns at a leader workshop on ‘building knowledge and skills of women in leadership roles’ in the Volta Region at the weekend. It was organised by Royal Vision International, a non-governmental organisation, focusing on women in leadership roles in their communities in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Children’s’ Affairs (MOWAC).

Mamaga Amega Kofi Bra II, Queen mother of Peki traditional area, urged the government to take another look at the payment of stipends for their male counterparts and to include queen mothers since they also played crucial roles in the governance of their communities. She said male chauvinism was still paramount in the society and there was the need to paramount chiefs, chiefs and their elders to partner their queen mothers to ensure peace, unity, harmony and stability within communities.

Ms Edam Wuttor, Research Officer of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, urged women to be assertive in any leadership responsibility assigned to them so that their male counterparts would be supportive of them. She called on all women to also unite rather than becoming their own enemies for their male counterparts to take advantage of it to suppress them.

Captain George Nfodjoh (rtd), Member of Parliament for Ho Central, advised women in leadership roles to strengthen their guidance and counselling duties to restore peace and unity within feuding communities to reduce conflicts. He tasked queen mothers to join their male counterparts to fight moral decadence within society which stood the risk of portraying their communities in a negative light.

Ms Ellen Alai, regional head of the Department of Women, stressed the need for women to fight for leadership roles since it would not be presented to them on a silver platter and that they should not use it to shun other women but rather use it to advcne the cause of affirmative action.

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