Women in the country particularly those in Buipe in the Central Gonja District have been urged to use their natural endowments and resources to solve chieftaincy disputes to promote unity and development.
Women have also been identified as key actors in peace building and conflict resolution hence the need to give them full and equal access and participation in the peace activities and processes.
Madam Trudy Kernighan, Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, said this at Buipe on Thursday during the opening ceremony of a two-day training workshop on peer mediation for women in the area.
The women were purposively selected from the Lebu and the Jinapor Gates, the two rival gates in the Buipe Chieftaincy conflict and it is expected that the workshop would be translated into peace building efforts for amicable settlement of the dispute.
The workshop was organized by the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP-Ghana) and sponsored by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA) with support from the Central Gonja District
Assembly. It was on the theme: 93Enhancing women's capacities for peace".
Madam Kernighan said the Canadian Government was very much pleased to see women as key actors in peace building adding, Canada was on the Security Council when it unanimously adopted Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security=85.it establishes a comprehensive agenda on women, peace and security", she said.
She said though it might be true that women and children were the most vulnerable during moments of conflict, they can equally be the most powerful agents for peace and development.
Madam Kernighan called for more civil society involvement in peace building since they have a vital role to play in early warning structures due to their direct access and presence in the communities afflicted by conflict.
She also cautioned Ghana not to be complacent with the current peace it was enjoying saying, events in neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire come to mind and will perhaps act as incentive to Ghanaians to tread with care and reflection as its own elections approaches".
The District Chief Executive for Central Gonja, Mr. Issifu Sulisu
Be-Awuribe, said the area used to be the beacon of peace and admiration by some conflict areas in the region but such admiration had been lost and called on the rival factions to give up their stands for peace to prevail.
He said the Assembly had spent huge sums of money on conflicts alone which otherwise could have been used for developmental projects adding,the Assembly spends GHc15,000 monthly on conflicts resolution processes.
Mr. Be-Awuribe observed that women were the preservers of peace in the traditional homes and urged them to use such natural gifts in resolving the prevailing conflicts adding, your actions and inactions must be towards the peace and not conflicts'.
Mr. Justin Bayor, National Coordinator of WANEP- Ghana, said the organization initiated the training workshop to promote peace to contribute to the peace building process that will make the women report pre-conflict signals to GHANAWARN.
He said facilitated dialogue sessions would be part of a workshop that will enable them document issues, concerns and fears of women from both chieftaincy factions and seek the way forward to building bridges.