Education of women in Citizenship and Politics in Cameroon

Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018

UN Women and RAF’AK – the Network of Women’s associations in Akonolinga Sub-Division has educated over 200 women on the importance of participating in electoral processes during a conference on the theme, "Education of women in Citizenship and politics."

The conference which held in September in Akonolinga was aimed at increasing the turnout of women voters in the 2018 presidential elections and women’s participation in subsequent electoral processes and other leadership positions.

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A cross section of participants at the RAF’AK conference Photo: UN Women/Francois Mbok

The Divisional Officer for Nyong and Mfoumou Division, M. Baourou Theophile Jean Roger who opened the RAF’AK conference applauded the initiators of the conference and the efforts of UN Women; geared towards increasing political participation of women in his administrative district.

According to the 2013 MINPROFF Statistical Yearbook, women who constitute more than half of the population, are generally under-represented in the spheres of political and public decision-making and particularly in local councils and municipal executives with only 8% of local elected women and less than 2% of women leaders in political parties. The strategic goal of UN Women through its leadership and political participation program is to attain 50-50 participation of women and men in leadership and political positions in Cameroon by 2030.

During the conference, Dr. Paulette Beat, UN Women Program Coordinator, stated the low figures of women’s political participation in Cameroon and called on the women to use the upcoming elections to reverse the situation by massively participating in the different electoral processes. In her presentation, she highlighted advantages of women’s engagement in politics, as voters and candidates, in a context of decentralization. “If you don’t choose how you will develop yourself, your family and community, and set the pace for your children, others will choose for you. I call on you to cast your votes and dare to run as candidates to elected positions,Dr. Paulette Beat advised.

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A woman presenting her voters card at ELECAM’s distribution booth Photo: UN Women/Francois Mbok

The conference was equally an opportunity for Divisional Delegation of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) to continue its outreach for the withdrawal of voters cards especially women. At the end of the event women who were registered on the electoral lists for the upcoming presidential elections collected their voter’s cards.