NATIONAL : Women need reorientation.
An educationist has appealed to the leadership of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) to make conscious efforts to re-orient women in the church to believe in the church’s doctrine and turn to it when in need and at all times.
Mrs Victoria Priscilla Darkwa, who made the appeal, said "this way, the exploitation of women in the church by spiritualists as a result of their vulnerability would be reduced drastically if not eliminated completely".
She made the appeal in her acceptance address when being inducted into office as National President of the Committee on Women’s Ministry (CWM) of the church for the next three years at the Zimmermann congregation at Abokobi in the Greater Accra Region .
Mrs Darkwa noted that most of the women in the church had always sought answers to their problems from outside, and a lot of them did not believe they could find answers to their spiritual and social problems from within the church.
"Instead, they resort to the so-called ’spiritualists’ and ’prayer camps’ to seek the Lord for salvation. Ironically, they clamour for all that is good in the church-baptism, confirmation, holy matrimony and Christian burials, while other matters considered spiritual are preferred to be dealt with from outside the church," she stressed.
Mrs Darkwa said addressing women issues required collective effort and mutual responsibility and more importantly the need to recognise their role and place and assert themselves as equal partners in the socio-economic and spiritual development of the church and country.
"To do so, requires some interventions including the empowerment of women, promotion of the development of their spirituality, engagement in development and income generating activities and constitutional reviews that would promote their cause," she added.
Mrs Darkwa stressed the need to empower women in all spheres of their daily lives, but such an empowerment was not to seek confrontation but assist women to realize, who they were, their potentials and call to duty.
She said the new executive committee of the CWM had initiated plans to promote this agenda through educational and awareness programmes, motivational and self-development activities, workshops, retreats and leadership seminars.
"Our objective is to build and equip the Lord’s Vineyard with competent soldiers ready to team up with our men to win souls for the Lord,’ she added.
Mrs Darkwa called on the leadership of the church to make its projects socially-centered, particularly those dealing with women.
She said in addition, the leadership should team up with the women and other social partners to promote income generating and self-help projects in the church and outside for the women.
"When women are financially resourceful, they are empowered. We on our part would continue with the good works of our predecessors and together with the church and other agencies spearhead this policy.
"We need to support our women to support themselves and their families and by so doing promote the cause of the church," she said.
On the church activities, Mrs Darkwa urged the leadership to begin the process of reviewing its systems, rules of engagement and other procedures for the women to gain greater access; become more empowered and emancipated to participate in the life of the church.
"Let us join forces and help bring the needed changes in our current circumstances," she said.
Mrs Darkwa thanked the women for the trust and confidence reposed in the new executives to serve them adding "I do hope and pray that together, we would make our ministry and church stronger and better for the good of mankind."
Reverend Kofi Amfo-Akonnor, Director of Church Life and Nurture (CLAN) of the church in a sermon urged the new executives to seek God’s guidance in whatever they had envisaged for the church and society.
He said they had taken over the mantle to re-build the women’s ministry and the church therefore they should equip themselves for service, which was critical and not lord over them.
However, Rev. Amfo-Akonnor said there would be opposition to their efforts but they should not be daunted and continue with the good works and would succeed.