UN Women inaugurates gender sensitive market in the Far North Region of Cameroon

The transformed existing market of Zamay is expected to scale up the economic empowerment of women in refugee host communities, IDPs as well as their resilience in the current humanitarian situation in the region.

Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Management committee of Zamay Market receive cleaning materialts.
Management committee of Zamay Market receive cleaning materialts. Photo : UN Women/Fajong Lereh

The refugees host community of Zamay in the Far North Region of Cameroon now has a transformed market which has been described as “modern and gender sensitive”. The renovated and enlarged market now has a lighting system, running water, secured warehouse, well partitioned with boxes. It also has a gender sensitive toilets which have been well separated with available running water and a bin for women to use during menstruation.

The gender sensitive market of Zamay which been reconstructed and transformed by UN Women Cameroon with financial support from the government of Japan was inaugurated this 15 December 2017, by a high level delegation made up of the Governor of the Far North Region-Midjiyawa Bakary, the Ambassador of Japan to Cameroon- H.E KUNIO OKAMURA, the High Commissioner of Canada to Cameroon-H.E Nathalie O’NEIL, the Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Cameroon- Allegra Maria Del Pilar Baiocchi, the Resident Representative of UN Women Cameroon-Adama Moussa as well as other local and traditional authorities.

“We consider this gender sensitive market a golden jewel which will transform the lives of women and even men in this refugee host community of Zamay”, said the Mayor of Mokolo during his welcome address.

“As the President of the Management Committee of this transformed market, I promise that we will ensure that standards are kept and women are given the space to engage in their businesses and gain financial autonomy”, added the representative of the President of the Management Committee of the Zamay market- IBRAHIM HAMAWA who doubles as the Lamido or traditional ruler of Zamay.

While lauding UN Women Cameroon for the remarkable results achieved in providing life-saving assistance to refugees- former hostages of Boko Haram as well as internally displaced population (IDPs), the Ambassador of Japan to Cameroon H.E KUNIO OKAMURA said his country is engaged in consolidating peace and economic development in Cameroon.

 “Each time I come to this region, I always have the conviction that that my country has to collaborate by extending a hand of solidarity to the government of Cameroon through the UN agencies to assist victims of terrorism”, the diplomat said.

The Resident Representative of UN Women Cameroon-Adama Moussa used the event as an opportunity to present some key results of the project which he described as a humanitarian response to supports refugees, IDPs and host communities. The results, he said, span across protection against violence on women and girls resilient through economic empowerment of women, social cohesion between the refugees, IDPs and host population through community development, and coordination at the national level in ensuring that gender is mainstreamed into all humanitarian actions.

“The inauguration of this market is special to us as UN Women, because we consider this as part of the economic empowerment of women which is key in providing women with financial autonomy which also empowers them to protect their own rights”, Adama Moussa added.

After the inauguration and the installation of the management committee of the Zamay gender sensitive market, the high level delegation cruised to the Minawao refugee camp were they also visited some humanitarian projects sponsored by the government of Japan.