By Sandrine M.
Some 12 partner organizations have presented to State actors, Religious associations as well as Civil society Organizations a policy brief on Gender based violence in the conflict prone Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon. This took place December 12 in line with an effective and efficient zero tolerance GBV policies within institutions and services as we gear towards Agenda 2030 and as part of their activities to observe the 16 days activism against Gender Based Violence.
To the head of these organizations piloting this policy document COMAGEND, the choice of today’s participants is main those who can affect policy that mainstream GBV issues.
The policy document stipulates as key issues the fact that there is a high prevalence of incest fueled by the crisis in the Southwest and Northwest especially as 51.33% of displaced persons squatting with family members and friends are of adolescent girls and young women.
Equally, It holds that there is a major gap in the protection of women’s rights due to lack of legal criminalization of domestic violence and marital rape.
The policy document adds that prior to the #COVID19 pandemic, the escalation of VAW in Cameroon could be linked to growing trends of militarization and militarism, prevailing unequal gender relationship and economic upheaval etc.
The Document further touched on issues on women and girls (VAWG) as a weapon of war, socio-economic and humanitarian Response Programming Gaps. Accessing the gap that exists in mainstreaming GBV issues at all levels in society, the policy document put of specific recommendations including; Drawing from local community organizations to elaborate women and girls as leaders and agents of change in programming and policy, Generate current data and analyze the solutions to GBV such as collecting data on the number of IDPs who have currently migrated in the region, current measures to fight GBV and the successes, for the government to partner with international humanitarian actors to fund the implementation of policies that improve girls and womens sexual and reproductive health rights and to build the capacity of media men and women on conflict sensitive reporting, getting a peace journalism approach.
Representing CCMN, was the Secretary General of CCMN NW, Pedmia Shatu who saw the absence on the aspect of online Gender-Based Violence which is equally another form of GBV. She pointed out that Online Gender-Based Violence is targeted harassment and prejudice through technology against people, disproportionately women, based on their gender. The term is also similar to online harassment, cyberbullying and cybersexism, but the latter terms are not gender specific. She recommended that this be added to the policy document and that the Ministry of post and telecommunications will have much to do to trap perpetrators of online GBV.
SG, CCMN, Pedmia Shatu
It is important to note that 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The representatives of the Regional Delegate MINAS NW, Divisional officer B’da III, Regional Delegate MINPROFF, Regional Delegate MINJEC, chief of women empowerment Tubah, Regional Secretary CWF, Ebase Africa, Regional Delegate of bible society, GBV focal person NW UNFPA, CCMN NW and President Christian Family movement were among policy makers presentation at the meeting.
The organizations in this coalition include, Common Action for
Gender Development (COMAGEND) being the lead organization, Sustainable Women Organization(SWO), Empowered Girl, Global Action For Community Development (GACD),
Organization For Women’s Empowerment And Development (OWED), Hands together with the physically impaired (HaTPhI), Rural And Urban Grassroots Business Women Association (RUGBWA), Community Initiative for Women Empowerment in Development(CIWED),Cho Ngafor Foundation,
Down Syndrome Association Cameroon (DOSYACAM), Beacon of Light Association (BELA) and Community Association for vulnerable persons.