Gender Café encourages women in Cameroon to be politically engaged

The 12th edition of Gender Café falls within the framework of the 55th edition of the International Day of the African woman.

Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017

Women from all walks of life and those occupying top political and leadership positions in Cameroon have taken the firm commitment to work in synergy and scale up the participation of more women in politics and leadership positions in future elections. They also unanimously agreed that an aggressive sensitization campaign with the media and the economic empowerment of women and young girls at grass root levels can go a long way to increase the low rate of women in political participation and leadership positions in Cameroon.

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Senator, Lafon making her point during the gender café |Photo credit UN Women, Fajong Joseph

These resolutions were made during the 12th edition of Gender Café – a platform for discussion to scale up women’s empowerment and gender equality in Cameroon on 27 July 2017 in Yaounde.

The event which was jointly organized by the  United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women- UN Women Cameroon and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment 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.”

Speaking during the dialogue, the Resident Representative of UN Women Cameroon, Adama Moussa said, “UN Women is engaged in increasing women in leadership positions and political life of the country. We want to have more female candidates in the list of political parties in Cameroon.”

The Minister of Women’s empowerment Pr. Marie Thesres Abena Ondoa, aforesaid everyone has a key role to play in ensuring that more women participate in politics. “We are moving slowly but steadily, we are asking for the support of everyone including men and boys, civil society organizations and development partners to support women in this area,”Marie Thesres explained.

The Gender café which brought together members of Governments, Senators, Members of the National Assembly, political and traditional leaders as well as the Civil Society Organizations reviewed the current state of women in politics and leadership positions through panel presentations and discussions.

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Participants at the Gender Café in Yaounde |Photo credit: UN Women, Fajong Joseph

According to current statistics, women’s participation in politics has improved in Cameroon, but the 30 percent recommended quota at all levels of decision-making has not been attained. Women have a 31 percent representation at the National Assembly, 21 percent at the Senate, 8 percent at the level of councils and 2 percent in leadership positions in political parties in Cameroon.