Achieving Social Justice for Women
Cameroon is facing several security challenges which are a major threat to peace and affect in particular women’s lives. The Boko Haram crisis and the violence in the South West and North West regions have profound impacts on the people in the affected areas, especially women and girls. The conflicts worsened the living conditions of women, exposing them to food and water insecurity and causing the destruction of socio-economic infrastructure such as hospitals, health centres and schools.
Armed conflict has also led to increased circulation of the weapons. The immediate impact of these armed conflicts is the massive displacement of women and children. Women are also victims of threats, rape, and assault committed under the threat of weapons.
Since its establishment in January 2014, WILPF Cameroon has focused its actions on furthering the implementation at the national level of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and its related resolutions. It carries out awareness-raising and advocacy on this issue and works to ensure the implementation of instruments to fight against arms proliferation and the illegal arms trade, and to improve women’s and girls’ living conditions in the country.
“There is no development possible without the full participation of women.”
Africa Regional Representative on the WILPF International Board
WILPF partners with Together We Build It (TWBI), a non-profit Libyan organisation founded and launched in 2011, to empower women and youth to participate in the political and public spheres and support the peaceful democratic transition in Libya.
WILPF supports TWBI’s efforts to advocate with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and UN member states to redesign the peace table and ensure women’s meaningful participation in the peace process.
In Cameroon, women participation in politics remains low. In addition to a reduced political representation (only 31,1% of deputies in the Parliament are female), many women do not have a voter’s card, and if they do, they sometimes are instructed by their husbands or families on their vote and can face reprisals and violence from their spouse for voting.
Since the presidential election of 7 October 2018, WILPF Cameroon set up a Women’s Situation Room, which is an early warning and rapid response mechanism against violence around elections, publishing afterwards a report of its monitoring of those elections.
Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Cameroon
This report was developed by WILPF Cameroon and was submitted to the 65th session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which reviewed Cameroon’s periodic report on 20 and 21 February 2019.
The report highlights the recommendations in five key areas: non-discrimination, gender equality and gender-based violence, women’s right to favourable and just
conditions of work, birth registration and the right to education.
The report analyses the geopolitical situation in Cameroon, addressing the challenges women and girls face due to conflict, limited political participation and inequality in the eyes of the law.
Contribution of WILPF Cameroon to the Universal Periodic Review
For the 30th Session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (7 May 2018 – 18 May 2018), WILPF made recommendations on Cameroon regarding arms control, gender-based violence, political and socio-economic participation of women, participation of women in conflict prevention and resolution, birth registration, protection of persons in humanitarian situations.
This report was developed by WILPF Cameroon,
in consultation with members and focal points of WILPF Cameroon in the Central, Littoral, Eastern and Western regions of Cameroon, as well as based on interviews with various relevant stakeholders in Cameroon regarding the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.
Cameroon has its National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security
In 2018, after years of strenuous research, planning, and lobbying, WILPF Cameroon made a breakthrough. For the first time in Cameroon, they saw their government adopt a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security.
The NAP lays out concrete operational procedures in Cameroon regarding UN Security Council Resolution 1325. In particular, it addresses the elements of violence that corrupt women’s security in the country, both internal and those filtering across the borders. The report analyses commitment and knowledge of UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda, and submits recommendations for local and nation-wide initiatives to combat these inequalities.