A group known as “UENR Ladies Association (ULA)” has been inaugurated in a short and colourful ceremony held at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani.
The Association which consist some female staff of the University, aimed at helping its members perform their duties both at work and home as well as to undertake community outreach, mentoring of young staff and students among others.
The Association has the founding executives as Mrs. Eva Atika Bakuri Dinye, President, Miss Harriet Fosuaa Attafuah, Vic- president, Mrs. Gertrude Yindanpoa Grumah, Secretary, Lydia Kuusoyir, Assistant secretary, Betty Kwao Eshun, Organizer and Miss Nancy Appiah Tuah, Treasurer. They were sown into office by the Registrar, Mr. Solomon Panford.
The inauguration ceremony which was under the theme: “Harnessing Professional Diversity, the Key to Career Excellence of Women.” saw in attendance prominent women in the Academia such as the Former Vice-Chancellor of UENR, Prof Esi Awuah as well as women in the Civil society and Security services in the country.
The Head of Department for Forest Science, Dr Mrs. Mercy Adutwmwaa Derkyi giving a brief history of the Association, said though there exist other Women Associations in UENR, the UENR Ladies Association (ULA) was the first in the University community to unite women regardless of the different categories of staff in the University system hence making them stronger for greater achievements yet to come.
Dr Mrs. Derkyi added that sisterhood was a relationship that needed emotional understanding and co-operation. She said the idea of forming an Association of women begun in 2013 but was formally presented on paper to management in 2017 after numerous brainstorming of the progress of women in UENR under the inspiration of some selected women in UENR, namely Mrs. Charity Roberts, Lecturer at the Department of Languages and General Studies, Dr. Mary Antwi, Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Management and Miss Martina Asantewaa at University Relations Office. She applauded them for their tenacity which was supported by other women in UENR that eventually led to the fruition of the Association.
Dr Mrs. Derkyi stated that the objectives of the Association was not compete with the male counterparts however, ULA seeks to coordinate with other Associations through conferences, workshops, research that would create greater platform for women in both the academia and administrative sectors of the University, to address issues concerning women and to draw its members close to God for a greater formation of their lives as career women and mothers.
The guest speaker for the occasion and Pro-Vost at the College of Science, KNUST, Prof Mrs. Ibok Nsa Oduro in her keynote address said diversity was the strength and power of an individual that should not be underestimated. She stated that in understanding diversity, the world needed different kinds of minds to work together adding that a collection of different minds would help institutions grow since everyone had unique qualities such as ethnicity, race, perspectives, competencies, paradigms among others that were not to divide a community but meant to be respected and appreciated. “people have individual characteristics which make them unique but in it lies strength and power” she stated.
Prof Mrs. Oduro further said diversity can drive innovation, creativity and support inclusion in an institution. Also, she said that embracing professional diversity promotes inter-cultural intelligence and cross-cultural understanding, offer the opportunity to view topical issues in different perspective. Prof Mrs. Oduro advised the Ladies that there was the need to harness diversity in other to strive professional excellence, advising them to cultivate the attitude of open mindedness and willingness to embrace uniqueness. She commended UENR Ladies for uniting women different academic and social background which she said was exactly what the world needed.
The Registrar, Mr. Solomon Panford applauded the Ladies for unifying themselves into an Association. He called on the Senior Members in the Association to teach the young ones some basic knowledge every woman should be abreast with in the Ghanaian setting. The Registrar appealed to the young members to avail themselves to be mentored and nurtured through the Association’s goals geared towards the development of the University and the nation at large. He cautioned the members not to get power drunk in the course of their empowerment goals.