Bawku enskins first queen
Story: Benjamin Xorxiem Glover, Bawku
The Bawku Traditional Council (BTC) has embraced the concept of queens to integrate women into its governance structure and make them part of the decision-making process.
Consequently, the council has enskinned Madam Veronica Ndebugri Abugrago, a 53 –year –old stenographer secretary, as a divisional queen under the skin name Kuasuag Paunab Alasbuudi I, at a ceremony held in Bawku on Tuesday.
Additionally, each of the 23 divisional councils have elected queens. The new concept is meant to broaden the scope of women participation in chieftaincy matters in a region which hitherto, the concept was unknown.
The installation process was supervised by the Paramount Chief of Bawku, Zug-raan Asigri Abugrago Azoka.
According to the BTC, the decision to fully embrace the concept was to bring women on board the traditional activities to complement efforts of chiefs in the organization system.
In September, this year, the Bongo Traditional Council, also in the Upper east Region, elected a queen for the traditional area to integrate women into its governance structure and empower them.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Bawku Naba said since culture was progressive and therefore, get informed, get reformed, the council wanted to be consistent with the chieftaincy structure seen in the rest of the country, hence the enskinment of the first queen of the Bawku Traditional Area.
“Like it happens in the selection of chiefs, we look for qualities of merit in the prospective candidates. These include public-spiritedness and readiness to serve the community, gentility and sound mind. Above all she should have relevant links to the skin,” he said
He appealed to all in the traditional council to work with the elected queen, who happens to be the sister of the chief, to help her bring about development, particularly for the benefit of women and children.
The newly installed queen, a member of staff of The Ghana Health Service, pledged to work with other queens in the traditional council, as well as all women, to improve the living standards of women especially and also to bring deepened collaboration and decency in the individual communities.
She outlined a number of programmes she would endeavour to carry out during her reign. These include encouraging women to speak on peaceful coexistence of all people in the traditional area, collaborating towards the abolition of negative cultural practices and helping reduce discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs. Lucky Awuni, congratulated the newly elected queen and other queens-elect in the traditional area and commended her on her initiative to work hard to raise education in the area and wished her well.
She expressed the hope that the new institution of queens in the traditional area would be sustained.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Bawku, Mr. Musah Abdulai, said his administration would do all it could to support the newly enskinned queen to enable her to attain her objectives, particularly since women formed more than half of the population and any assistance offered them would yield to the greater good of the district.
The Registrar of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Rex Henry Akatti, expressed the hope that the presence of women on the traditional council would enrich the decision and debates on issues such as elimination of obsolete customs, child abuse, girl-child education and empowerment of women.
He called on the newly-elected queen to be fair to all manner of people who would come to her and eschew discrimination against anyone.
Daily Graphic Page: 23 Thursday, December 23, 2010