Gender Café on women’s leadership and political participation

Date: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 11th edition of the Gender Café - a platform for discussion to scale up women’s empowerment and gender equality in Cameroon was held in Ngaoundere on 22 June 2017. The event was held under the theme:Women and politics: ways and means of ensuring the full participation of women through free, equitable and gender sensitive elections.

UN Women, in conjunction with the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment, organized this event to measure the participation of women in politics and leadership positions. Women in Adamaoua experience some of the lowest representation in politics, and, therefore, the outcomes of the event included the training of women on leadership and the electoral code, registration of women to the electoral register, and the sensitization of men from the Adamaoua Region on women’s political participation.  

Gender Cafe

Representative of the Governor of Adamaoua Region-Mrs NGA BILOA Claudine, officially opening Gender Café |Photo credit: UN Women, Fajong Joseph

During the opening ceremony, UN Women’s Program Specialist, Joseph Ngoro Bonaparte, noted that the Gender Café aims to bring together all key actors (men and women) into politics. This will enable them to exchange dialogue on the stakes and challenges linked to the effective and efficient participation of women in future elections in Cameroon.

“This high-level discussion is aimed at diagnosing the key factors that impede women’s participation in politics in Cameroon and particularly in the Adamaoua Region. We will also identify key actors in the electoral procedures and their roles in the advancement of women’s participation. This will be followed by putting in place specific adequate strategies for the physical, political and legal protection of women in electoral process; as well as concrete measures to scale up the political participation of women in the electoral process,” said Mr. Ngoro Joseph.

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Participant making his point on the need for men to provide equal opportunities for women in leadership and political participation. |Photo credit: UN Women, Fajong Joseph

The event brought together over 150 participants from all over Cameroon. The dialogue focused on the legal and institutional frameworks, progress made in women’s political participation, the role of civil society, and the integration of gender in the electoral process in Cameroon. A regional action plan and a task force was created and put in place to follow up on the implementation of proposals made during the dialogue. The representative of the Governor of the Adamaoua Region, Mrs Nga Biloa Claudine, described the Gender Café as, “an excellent and innovative way of getting women engaged in politics.”