Defence Minister-designate Dominic Nitiwul has indicated that efforts are being made to encourage female participation in the Ghana Armed Forces.
He however pointed out that even though female participation is being encouraged, it is important to maintain the quality of personnel in the service and therefore their recruitment is purely based on merit rather than favouritism or just because they are women.
The Defence Minister-designate stated this yesterday when he answered a question from Mr O. B. Amoah, the Member of Parliament for Akwapim South and a member of the Parliament’s Appointments Committee on measures being taken to increase the number of females in the Armed Forces.
Mr Nitiwul who appeared before the Committee for vetting to be appointed as Defence Minister reiterated that enlistment into the Forces is based on merit.
“It’s a field that you don’t want to do favouritism, you want to make sure that people qualify on merit. So all the women you see today, they qualify on merit.
“But there’s a gender desk that we have set up at the Ghana Armed forces; but like I said the females there are not recruited just because they are females, no, they are recruited based on the fact that they are qualified, they are exceptional and they’ve done well,” he told the Committee.
He indicated that recruitment of women into the Ghana Armed Forces surpasses the United Nations target of 15% women serving in military contingents.
“Ghana has one of the highest in terms of numbers. I’ll not give because there’s a sensitivity of that question. In fact, we have actually passed the UN threshold of the ration when it comes to both peacekeeping and people within the military”, Mr Nitiwul stated.
He gave assurance that the Forces will continue to give females the due recognition percentages they deserve in the recruitment process in order to keep their numbers at an acceptable standard.
“They (women) do a lot of work and they do very, very well when it comes to work of being a soldier and I want to encourage them to continue to avail themselves for the service,” he concluded.