International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day in Cameroon: UN Women joins over 26.000 participants at march-past parade

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016

The “traditional” March-past parade took place under the auspices of the First Lady, Chantal Biya, represented by the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, amidst members of government and the diplomatic corp.

UN Head of agencies at front-line position during march-past on International Women’s Day in Cameroon Photo credits: J Fajong/UN Women
UN Head of agencies at front-line position during march-past on International Women’s Day in Cameroon. Photo credits: J Fajong/UN Women

Yaounde, Cameroon March 8, 2016. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of women- UN Women have joined  over 26000 women and men at a traditional march-past ceremony  at the Yaounde 20th May Boulevard to solemnly commemorate the 31st edition of the International Women’s Day under the theme “Gender equality and the empowerment of women: meeting the challenges and overcoming the obstacles”. This is taken from the global theme proposed by the United Nations: “Planet 50-50 by 2030, step it up for gender equality”.

Dressed in the orange and purple African fabric, participants who came from all works of life brandished banners with various messages, calling for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Cameroon.

According to the Minster of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Pr Marie Thérés Abena Ondoua, “the objective of the parade is to mobilized the national community for a greater commitment of all social and institutional actors in the research and implementation of positive measures for the elimination of gender inequalities in all forms”

Prior to this day, the United Nations System in Cameroon organized a UN4U educational outreach event on March 7, 2016 at the Siantou University Institute in Yaounde. The objective of the event was to exchange information with students and youth on the 2016 theme to stimulate the respect of individual rights for gender equality void of any form of discrimination in the school milieu for quality education.

Speaking during the outreach event, the Resident Coordinator of UN System in Cameroon Ms Najat Rochdi told the over 1000 students in attendant that “responsible citizenship begins with the fight against all forms of gender based violence”.

UN Resident Coordinator flanked by colleagues during UN4U outreach event.  Photo credits : J Fajong/UN Women
UN Resident Coordinator flanked by colleagues during UN4U outreach event.  Photo credits : J Fajong/UN Women

While presenting on women and factors of production, the Representative of UN Women Cameroon Adama Moussa, said any meaningful development cannot take place if women do not have access to factors of production, notably land.

The other heads of UN agencies from UNICEF, and UNFPA dueled on peace, security and violence against women as well as violence against women and maternal mortality.