UN Women Cameroon steps up efforts to get more female voters in electoral registers

Date: Monday, February 19, 2018

482 women and girls in the South Region of Cameroon have been registered to vote in upcoming local and national elections announced for 2018, following a campaign by UN Women, in collaboration with Elections Cameroon and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment.

Program Manager for leadership and political participation at UN Women, Valerie Mengue Ango, giving a talk in the presence of the South Regional Delegate of the Women Empowerment Ministry, Bejamin Eyene, and Elections Cameroon South Regional Delegate, Bourdon Otya’a.
Program Manager for leadership and political participation at UN Women, Valerie Mengue Ango, giving a talk in the presence of the South Regional Delegate of the Women Empowerment Ministry, Bejamin Eyene, and Elections Cameroon South Regional Delegate, Bourdon Otya’a.

Ebolowa, 16 February 2018: UN Women Country Office, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), and the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family, have used a women’s come-together in the South Region as an opportunity to campaign for more women and girls to get their names in voter list, ahead of the 2018 elections.

Exhorting the women on the relevance of vying for leadership and decision-making positions, the program manager for Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in UN Women, Valerie Mengue Ango, emphasized that it all begins with registering to vote.

“Now is the time for you to put into practice the knowledge you acquired from the gender Cafés. You are endowed with wonderful leadership talents which you should use in the domain of politics”, Valerie Mengue said to the women.

The representative of the Minister for Women Empowerment and the Family, Benjamin Eyene, frowned at the fact that women continue to be absent from elections. He pointed out that there cannot be sustainable development in Cameroon if women, who constitute majority of the population, are left out of decision-making processes in their communities.

For the first time, ELECAM’s South Regional Office deployed four computer engineers to do direct biometric registration on the field. “Our objective is to register the maximum number of women and girls in the South Region before the Electoral College is convened”, said Bourdon Otya’a, ELECAM’s South Regional Delegate.

 Elecam’s computer engineers doing biometric registration on the ceremonial ground. Photo credits: Alice Tatah, UN Women Cameroon.
Elecam’s computer engineers doing biometric registration on the ceremonial ground. Photo credits: Alice Tatah, UN Women Cameroon.

In 2013, statistics from the Ministry of Women Empowerment showed that the South Region has 5 female mayors out of 29, 24 assistants out of 74, and 5 parliamentary seats out of 11.

The aim of this campaign is to see these numbers increase in upcoming local and national elections.

Program Manager for leadership and political participation at UN Women, Valerie Mengue Ango, addressing the press. Photo credits: Alice Tatah, UN Women Cameroon.
Program Manager for leadership and political participation at UN Women, Valerie Mengue Ango, addressing the press. Photo credits: Alice Tatah, UN Women Cameroon.

By Alice Tatah