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Today in History: 8 women who were the first to occupy some top positions in Ghana in 2022

The eight include Georgina Theodora Wood (first female Chief Justice), Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang (first female Vice Chancellor) Joyce Bamford-Addo (first female Speaker of Parliament) Constance Edjeani-Afenu (First female Brigadier General) Charlotte Osei (first female Electoral Commissioner), Dr Penelope Baabe Tettey Adinku (Ghanaian female cardiothoracic surgeon ), Gloria Amon-Nikoi ( first female Foreign minister) and Mabel Dove Danquah (First female member of the Ghana’s legislative assembly).

Read the full details and the 2022 story first published by GhanaWeb on Tuesday, May 10, below:

Women are gradually taking up huge tasks and breaking the bias in many aspects of society. Unlike in the days of old, women today are pushing through empowerment, and breaking the bias as well as giving competition to men who formerly had an upper hand in certain positions.
More and more, women are assuming record-breaking positions in society and are doing amazing in those positions.

The month of May, specifically the first Sunday of the month is set aside to honour women who have played various motherly roles in society.

Georgina Theodora Wood:
Georgina Theodora Wood is the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice in Ghana.

The Ghanaian judge and also a former police prosecution office was nominated as Chief Justice of Ghana in May 2007. On 1 June 2007, the Parliament of Ghana approved her nomination as the new Chief Justice of Ghana by consensus.

Chief Justice Wood assumed office on 15 June 2007. While in office, she swore in four Presidents: the President John Evans Atta-Mills in January 2009, Vice-President John Dramani Mahama upon the death of Atta-Mills on 24 July 2012, President-Elect John Dramani Mahama, winner of the December 2012 General Elections on 7 January 2013, Nana Akuffo-Addo, winner of the December 2016 elections on 7 January 2017.

She retired as Chief Justice in June 2017 and was succeeded by Justice Sophia Akuffo.

Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang:
Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang was the first female Vice-Chancellor of a state university in Ghana University of Cape Coast.

She assumed duty on 1 October 2008 and left office in 2012.

In 2012, ahead general elections, Jane Opoku Agyemang moderated the debate with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, after which she was appointed as the Education Minister of Ghana in 2013. After this, she was appointed by President John Mahama and served till January 2017 when the Nana Akufo-Addo administration was elected to power.

Aside from being the first Vice Female Chancellor, in 2020, she became the first presidential running mate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after she was appointed by the flagbearer of the party John Dramani Mahama on June 6.

She would have become the first the first female vice-president in the country’s history if the NDC had won the 2020 elections.

Joyce Bamford-Addo:

Joyce Bamford-Addo is the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana and the first woman Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.

The former Supreme Court Justice who served from 1991 to 2004 in the judiciary was appointed Speaker of Parliament from the year 2009 to 2013 under the tenure of the late John Evans Atta-Mills.

The Rt. Honorable Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo was born on 26th March 1937 in Accra/Ghana. She started her education in Cape Coast Catholic Schools, namely, St. Mary’s Boarding School, and then went to Ola Boarding School. She then proceeded to the Holy Child School, also in Cape Coast for her secondary education.

By the time she left the public service, Speaker Bamford-Addo had established herself as one of the most successful jurists in Ghana. Her long experience in law and administration earned her a number of positions in both national and international organizations, namely Member, Legal Aid Board, Judicial Council (General Legal Counsel), Catholic Lawyers Guild, FIDA International), Ghana Bar Association as well as the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. She also represented Ghana at the UN Commission on the status of women.

Constance Edjeani-Afenu:

The late Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu was the first female brigadier general of the Ghana Armed Forces. She was deployed to several United Nations peacekeeping missions, and served as the Deputy Military Adviser to Ghana’s permanent Mission in New York City

Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu is reported to have “made history in peacekeeping as the first female Deputy Force Commander in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.

Brigadier General Edjeani-Afenu rose through the ranks of her national military to become the first female Commanding Officer in the Ghanaian Armed Forces, in 1999.

In 2013, she became the first woman to be appointed Deputy Military Adviser (DMILAD) at the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations in New York.

While on the post, she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, becoming the first female to ever be promoted as a General in her country’s Armed Forces.
She died January 24, 2022.

Charlotte Osei:

Charlote Osei is the first female to have served in the office of the Electoral Commission of Ghana since the independence of Ghana.
Before her appointment as the EC chairperson, she served as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education from 2011 to 2015.

She was appointed the EC chairperson by former president John Dramani Mahama in 2015 until she was dismissed in June 2018.
In May 2019, she was appointed by the United Nations to be on a team of international advisors, to assist in managing the 2019 presidential elections in Afghanistan.

Dr Penelope Baabe Tettey Adinku:

Dr Penelope Baabe Tettey Adinku is the first Ghanaian female cardiothoracic surgeon after she joined the field because of her love for children.

Aside from her love for children, Dr Penelope Baabe Tettey Adinku decided to go into the field because of the investment Dr Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a Ghanaian physician and cardiothoracic surgeon, who established the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in the early 1990s.

The aim of the establishment is to help patients dealing with heart conditions.

Gloria Amon-Nikoi:

Mrs Gloria Adwoa Amon Nikoi was the first Ghanaian woman to hold the position of foreign minister in 1979 under the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) government

She was married to Amon Nikoi, a former Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Finance minister, with whom she had three children.

She and her husband Mr Nikoi played a great role in the independence struggle. Her husband was made Ghana’s permanent representative to the United Nations in 1957.

Mabel Dove Danquah:

Mabel Dove Danquah was a Gold Coast-born journalist, political activist, and creative writer.
In 1954 she became the first female member of Ghana’s legislative assembly and also the first woman to be elected into the African Legislative Assembly.

Danquah wrote for African Morning Post (1935–40), the Nigerian Daily Times (1936–37), the Accra Evening News (1950–1960s) and the Daily Graphic (1952). She took on the editorship of the Accra Evening News (CPP newspaper) in 1951 the paper of the she became the second woman ever to edit a newspaper in Ghana, after Akua Asabea Ayisi.

She got married to JB Danquah who was one of the big six but later divorced in the mid 1940’s.

Mabel Dove Danquah passed away in 1984.


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