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Female Soldiers Mark 60th Anniversary   
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The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), as part of their 60th anniversary launch of female enlistment into the military, has gone on a route march.

Starting from the Nicholson Stadium at Burma Camp, the route march continued through the Giffard Road towards the 37 Military Hospital and finally ended at the Burma Camp Sports Complex, where the official launch commenced.

The Chief of the Defence Staff – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Obed Boamah Akwah, in an address said the forward march of the Ghana Armed Forces would be meaningless unless it is linked with the total cooperation of female soldiers.

Adding his voice, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Maj Gen William Azure Ayamdo said female soldiers were being assigned important roles in the Armed Forces.

“It is my wish that in the near future, we will see a woman commanding a battalion” he said.

Maj. Gen. Ayamdo recalled his airborne training programme in the US where he jumped up to the tower stage, with a three-month pregnant lady- “From there, I believed that our women here too can accomplish similar feats.”

He urged female solders to learn how to manage the men if they were eager to assume leadership roles in the military.

Brig Gen Constance Edjeani Afenu – of the Ministry Of Defence, the only female General in the Ghana Armed Forces said, “GAF has proudly gone past the periods of ‘no marriage’ and ‘no child bearing’, ‘non-participation in peacekeeping’ and now, GAF even exceeds the United Nations (UN) threshold of 15% of female participation at UN peacekeeping theatres”.

She said some appointments and ranks, which were the preserves of men, are now occupied by females who form about 15% of GAF’s strength and pledged that women would continue to work to become the pride of the Armed Forces.

Speaking on the theme: “The Female Officer and Woman Are Very Capable, Ever Ready and Dependable,” Brig Gen Edjeani Afenu also said that the CDS and high command of the military have given GAF ladies a portion of land to develop for the purpose of a state-of-the-art children’s park to help their children stay healthy and creative.

Sixty years ago, the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, had a vision to include women in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the first female officer to be commissioned was Major Mercy Addo.

In January 1958 and by the end of that same year, six other females were enlisted as officers.

In 1963, the first batch of 12 women – WO 1 Vincentia Yawutey with 11 others, was recruited into the signal regiment and from those numbers, GAF women have increased into hundreds and thousands.

Dignitaries present at the walk and launch included the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) – AVM Frank Hanson, Maj Gen Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Chief Staff Officer (CSO) at the Navy Headquarters – Commodore Issah Yakubu, Directors- General of Personnel & Administration and Logistics, Brig Gen Awity and Brig Gen Osei-Wusu, among other dignitaries.
Source: Daily Guide

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