Human rights defenders in Cameroon call on all to Commit to gender equality principles

With the continuous violence and need for humanitarian interventions in the English speaking regions of Cameroon, notably the Northwest and southwest regions, there could not be any better time to call for all to commit to gender equality than now.

“Every single individual has a key role to play in making gender equality and justice a reality in Cameroon,” says Wfac ED, Ms Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo-Wondieh

June 20 – 21, 2018 – Buea, Cameroon, over 100 WHRDs across the country, including youth activists and champions for gender equality gathered at the Pan-Afrique Institute to discuss on the state of gender-based violence (GBV) including the rising GBV incidences across the two conflict-affected regions of the country. Together they proposed a couple of practical solutions and the best ways to contribute in ensuring gender equality principles and values are upheld in the country.

Among some of the actions suggested included but not limited to the establishment of a National GBV coordination mechanism and cluster, who will regularly meet to assess the state of women and girls in the communities including those affected by the armed violence. There were also proposals on initiating a gender-based violence minimum package of prevention and response which consists of four core services. This include:

1) A first-line response service, an open line always such as the ops4women app, available, and accessible to offer referrals services to victims and GBV survivors identified and in need of assistance;
2) A clinic service, to provide rapid and emergency medical services including mental health screening, emergency contraceptives, and post prophylaxis as well as the medical treatment of GBV cases;
3) Social support services, to provide psychosocial counselling to survivors and GBV victims;
4) A justice service, to ensure victims and all persons affected by GBV get justice.

Organised by Lukmef and partners, Women for a Change, community outreach manager Nancy Makeoh Mafor participated at the two-day summit on the National CSO Forum on GBV in Cameroon. The workshop which according to the organizer Mr Christian Tanyi is CSO-led draws on participation from a broad sphere of works including those from the private sectors, religious groups as well as traditional and community leaders.

Written by Nancy Makeoh Mafor

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