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Female chiefs not happy about being left out of deliberations on chieftaincy issues


Twenty two female chiefs and twelve paramount chiefs from seven traditional areas in the northern region have appealed to the government and the National House of Chiefs to find a solution to their being relegated to the background when it comes to chieftaincy issues.

The female traditional leaders drawn from the Yoo, Sunsong, Nakpale, Sanguli, Chereponi, Saboba and Kumbungu traditional areas, said even though they are sometimes consulted on chieftaincy matters, their participation in deliberating matters at the regional and national houses is not encouraging.

The Yelizoli Gaa-Naa, Hawa Shanka Salifu made the appeal on behalf of the female chiefs at the launch of NORSAAC- Ibis in Ghana – sponsored picture diary of female chiefs in the Dagbon traditional area in Tamale.

The launch, was chaired by the Gundo-Naa, Hajia Samata Abudu whose title is reserved for the princesses in Dagbon whose fathers have occupied the “Namship” of Yendi, the spiritual and traditional leader of Dagombas.

All in all, 29 female chiefs and their professions who have played little in chieftaincy matters in the region were profiled in the diary.

The Yelizoli Gaa-Naa also mentioned transportation difficulties confronting female traditional leaders as one of the major challenges and urged the chieftaincy affairs minister to find a solution to it.

She also added that it is not all that bright for women and pleaded that women be given more opportunities to participate in Houses of Chiefs meetings.

She admitted however that, the Gundo Naa is consulted by Ya Naa before certain decisions are taken in chieftaincy issues but that little is heard about majority of female chiefs.

The paramount chief of Savelugu traditional area, Yoo Mahama Abukari who corroborated with the female chiefs alluded to their absence at house of Chiefs.

The Yoo Naa however said the absence of the women should not be attributed to their male counterparts and put the blame squarely on the door steps of government. He explained that even the male Chiefs are invited with elders adding that the invitations doesn’t include female chiefs.

He also bemoaned the transportation difficulties of women noting that they cannot be using commercial vehicles to attends meetings at the regional house of Chiefs in Tamale.

The Chieftaincy Affairs Minister, Dr Henry Seidu Danaa who launched picture diary, assured the female chiefs of his ministry’s unreserved commitment in ensuring that their problems are addressed.

He said until the existing legislation on the Houses of Chiefs is amended to allow the participation of female chiefs, there isn’t much the ministry can do about the current situation.

Dr Danaa said his ministry is in the process of organizing capacity building training for female chiefs and queen mothers in all the ten regions of Ghana.

“We will give you the assistant to make you confidence,” the chieftaincy minister assured. He explained that some people don’t understand the noble institution called chieftaincy which he described as expensive because no chief will go a meeting with less than three elders.

The chieftaincy minister described the women picture diary as a milestone to the development of the chieftaincy institution in the northern region.

He expressed the hope that, the picture diary will be extended in time to other traditional jurisdictions within the region. “Chieftaincy is our heritage, and that is the reason why we owe future generationa the duty not only to protect but also to promote it, Dr Danaa stated.

The Executive Director of NORSAAC, Alhassan Mohammed Awal said the diary paves the way for the realization of the full potential of women in Ghana particularly, northern Ghana.

The process leading to finalization of the diary Mr Awal explained was met with several questions about its relevance and the motivation to work with female chiefs.

NORSSAC, he explained was in partnership with Ibis in Ghana under the women and governance project to identify practical challenges women face and contribute towards the remedies.

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