Rosemond Asiamah Nkansah, First Woman to be Enlisted Into the Ghana Police Service

Rosemond Asiamah Nkansah was a Ghanaian trailblazer in law enforcement who made history as the first woman to be enlisted in the Ghana Police Service. Born on January 13, 1930, in Ghana, she attended Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast, where she obtained a Senior Cambridge and Teacher’s Certificate ‘A.’ After teaching briefly, she joined the Ghana Police Service, then the Gold Coast Police Force, in 1952. Before her enlistment, the police force had been male-dominated since its establishment in 1894.

Rosemond Nkansah with new female recruit
Rosemond Nkansah with the new recruit

Asiamah’s enlistment marked a significant milestone for Ghana, and her appointment brought about a vital shift in the treatment of women in the police force. Her appointment was due to the approval of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the then Leader of Government Business, who saw the need for the inclusion of women in the Police Force. After three months of intensive training, Asiamah and 11 other female recruits were enlisted on September 1, 1952, with a primary responsibility to handle issues and problems affecting women, children, and juveniles who were either victim of crime, missing, or had allegedly engaged in some form of crime.

Rosemond Nkansah marching with team
Rosemond Nkansah matching with the team

As the leader of the first-ever squad of policewomen, Asiamah was only 22 years old at the time, and her squad was tasked with a critical responsibility. However, it was a time when policewomen were not allowed to marry or get pregnant, and any who did were forced to resign. Nonetheless, Asiamah felt that it was unfair and against the rights of women to restrict them from getting married and giving birth while their male counterparts were allowed to marry and spend time with their families. Therefore, before her resignation, she petitioned the government to allow policewomen to marry and have children and also to reinstate those who resigned to raise families.

Her petition was accepted, and the condition that prevented women from serving long on the force, due to marriage and pregnancy, was abolished. This opened the door for more women to join the police force, and Asiamah’s contribution and advocacy for women’s rights and inclusion will always be remembered in the history of the Ghana Police Service. She resigned on May 16, 1958, after five years and nine months in active service, wanting to marry and start a family of her own.

Rosemond Nkansah at old age

After her resignation, Asiamah taught at St. John’s Grammar School from 1961 to 1964 as a professional teacher because of her certification before being enlisted in the Gold Coast Police Force. She then joined the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in 1965 and headed the School broadcasting programs for a year. Asiamah retired from active service in 1999 to focus primarily on writing books. She wrote several books and also translated words in her book “Octagon” into foreign and local languages.

Asiamah’s advocacy and activism for women’s rights and inclusion continue to inspire many women in Ghana and beyond. Her contribution and legacy will always be remembered in the history of the Ghana Police Service, and she will remain a role model for women in law enforcement and beyond. Asiamah passed away on February 20, 2021, at the age of 91, but her remarkable story and legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

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Sophia Celestina Apenkro

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