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.

Sylvie Ndongmo smiling

 “There is no development possible without the full participation of women.”

Sylvie Ndongmo

Africa Regional Representative on the WILPF International Board

Cameroon: Call Center Eases Electoral Process and Monitors Violence During Elections

Women working at WILPF Cameroon's physical call center against electoral violence in Yaoundé

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

WILPF Cameroon embroided

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

Cover of the Report submitted to the UPR Working Group for Cameroon

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

WILPF Cameroon first NAP adoption

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.

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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