UN Women Cameroon inaugurates another Women Cohesion Space

Date: Friday, May 26, 2017

The newly inaugurated WCS will also serve as one of the venues to implement the one- year USD 1.170 million Japanese sponsored project to fight against extremism through adequate support to women and girls and former hostages of Boko Haram and their host communities in the Far North Region of Cameroon.

Maroua May 11, 2017: In the middle of the Minawao refugee camp in the Far North Region of Cameroon is a super imposed and solid structure, constructed on a surface area of about 3000 meters square. It is called the Women Cohesion Space (WCS) constructed by UN Women Cameroon with financial and technical support from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). The WCS is aimed at providing a safe space for women and girls in humanitarian setting, to share information, learn new skills and receive support. More precisely, it provides gender based violence (GBV) survivors with psycho-social care, counseling, orientation and referrals to other services (medical, legal and judicial) as well as economic support.

WCS opening

From Left to right: Divisional Officer for Mokolo, Representative of Minister of Women’s empowerment, First Deputy Senior Divisional Officer for Mayo Tsanaga, Resident Representative of UN Women Cameroon, and Representative of MSB cutting the symbolic ribbon which marks the official inauguration of the WCS at the Minawao Refugee camp. Photo credit: UN Women Cameroon, Fajong Joseph Lereh

Speaking on 10th May 2017 at the Minawao refugee camp during the inauguration of the WCS and the launch of the project to fight against extremism, Adama Moussa, Resident Representative of UN Women Cameroon underlined, “UN Women Cameroon regards you as human beings with equal rights. That is why we have set up this second structure at the Minawao refugee camp for your rights to be protected”.

“MSB is supporting the United Nations through UN Women Cameroon with constructing the WCS in refugee camps in Minawao and Ngam. The Swedish government has a feministic policy which includes the provision of assistance to women in humanitarian situations and we are happy that the women are ready to exploit these spaces”, Gunilla Fallqvist of MSB explained during the ceremony.

The Program specialist of UNHCR in Maroua, the Representatives of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Senior Divisional Officer of Mayo Tsanaga and the President of the Female refugees in Minawao all praised UN Women and its donors for providing lifesaving assistance to the increasing needs of more than 30,000 female refugees at the Minawao camp.

The WCS will host some of the activities programmed in the new project which cover four crucial areas: protection, resilience social cohesion and coordination.

“With the presence of UN Women at the refugees’ camp, we have noticed remarkable reductions in gender based violence. We no longer go to the Police Stations to solve our problems. We now carry out income generating activities,” Grace Ali, President of female refugees stated.

Women's rep Cameroon refugee camp

Grace Ali, President of female refugees at the Minawao refugee camp lauds UN Women and donors for providing them with WCS and lifesaving assistance at the camp. . Photo credit: UN Women Cameroon, Fajong Joseph Lereh