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International Women's Day Commemorated in Accra

Accra, Ghana - "The Role of Women in a Time of Social Transformation" was the theme of an International Women's Day Conference at the Nogahil Hotel in Accra on March 8 sponsored by UPF and the Women's Federation for World Peace of Ghana. In addition to celebrating International Women's Day, the event sought to build a joint Women for Peace network.

A video of the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women held in 2010 at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN opened the conference. Of particular interest was the statement by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria, H.E. Dr. Joy U. Ogwu, on the complementarity of men and women rather than competition.

Mrs. Eunice Ametor-Williams, former Member of Parliament and a retired Deputy Administrator of the Methodist University, chaired the occasion. In her opening remarks she said, "Women are created especially to help the world develop; therefore, the success of a man depends on us women. We need to portray peace that is centered on God, starting in our marriage and expanding to the communities by loving one another and wise use of resources."

The Vice President of the Women's Federation for World Peace, Mrs. Emelia Adofo, reported about the organization's work in Ghana. She noted that the Women's Federation for World Peace was established upon the motto: "Humankind is one family living on one home, the earth." Its activities are geared towards training the less fortunate in society and formulating policies and programs that help restore family values. In 2003, the Women's Federation for World Peace became a member of the Ghana AIDS Commission and launched an HIV/AIDS prevention campaign. During that year, the federation held a series of workshops and seminars for more than 4,500 youth focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention through abstinence until marriage and faithfulness in marriage.

The Special Guest was Hon. Dr. Gladys Ashitey, former Deputy Minister of Health and a Member of Parliament. "The role of women has not changed in religious and social organizations," she said. "The contribution of women in the family is huge. They are flexible and unbreakable. Women are the most valuable co-workers. Women can combine things easily, and this makes them unique." She gave examples of women's contributions to the public sector, health care, and education in addition to shaping their children's character. Hon. Dr. Ashitey reiterated that new economic conditions require changes and described women as essential to all activity, and therefore the unity of women is essential to well-being. She congratulated the women on their good work and encouraged them to keep it up.

Before the keynote address, a video was shown about Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, founder of the Women's Federation for World Peace. The gathering marveled at her passion for educating people how to be examples of true womanhood. The video showed her sharing what she had with the poor and sick and how her husband supports her as she promotes happy families.

The Secretary General of UPF-Ghana Dr. Mrs. Helen M. Osei, delivered Mrs. Moon’s speech inaugurating the Women's Federation for World Peace. It was titled “Women’s Role in World Peace.” The speech stated that women should reject the ideologies of the past that have oppressed humanity. To achieve this, women must start by understanding God and His purpose for creating the universe and then practice unconditional love through sacrifice, self-discipline, and service. In conclusion, the speech called on all women to come together and share ideas and strengths that will enable them accomplish the noble course.

In her closing remarks, Mrs. Ametor-Williams urged all women to draw upon the resources of their religion to overcome evil.

In all, about 40 women leaders, including queenmothers and chiefs, were in attendance. (Queenmothers are chosen from women of the traditional royal families and are female counterparts of the king.)

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