WOMEN STRENGTHEN THEIR CAPACITIES FOR UPCOMING POLITICAL ELECTIONS

Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Nearly 60 women, candidates and Political Party leaders took part in the training workshop organized by the Ministry of Family and Women Empowerment in partnership with UNWOMEN in Yaoundé, 23-24 July 2019 on electoral processes, electoral law, transformative leadership, peer learning for women candidates, speaking out and engagement. The main objective was to improve women's political leadership with a view to their optimal participation in the upcoming elections (municipal and legislative).

Madame Abena Ondoa Née Obama Marie Thérèse, Minister of Family and women empowerment, recalled that promoting women's political participation and strengthening their access to decision-making are among the government's priorities. It is important to translate into action the commitments made in favor of gender equality and democracy as a factor of good governance and sustainable development.

Mrs. Patience ELANGO, trainer on the electoral processes - the electoral law.
Mrs. Patience ELANGO, trainer on the electoral processes - the electoral law. Photo credit: Joseph LINDJECK communication Intern/ UNWOMEN Cameroon

Hind JALAL, Deputy Representative of UN Women, highlighted that Women's equal participation and representation in local decision-making processes is essential to take into account the specific needs of women and men, girls and boys on local government agendas and to localize the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For two days, leaders were trained on electoral processes, electoral law, the importance of women's participation in political decision-making and the difficulties of positioning them on candidate lists, women's values in politics, political leadership and good governance.

One of the strategic tools used during this training was the Women's Training Manual, developed for women and revised in 2018 as a result of the combined effects of electoral forecasts and the evolution of the legislative framework for electoral processes, not to mention the introduction of new political institutions and new political formation. At the end of the workshop, participants expressed satisfaction with the newly acquired skills. According to Mrs. Benedicta BILOA MEKONGO (Bikok City Hall), "through these new competencies acquired and the assimilation of national legislation, I think that more women will commit themselves for the next elections to a better representation on the political scene in Cameroon".

Gender balance in decision-making bodies is one of the priority objectives of UN Women in terms of leadership and political participation in order to ensure that the specific needs of women are better taken into account. This training workshop for women leaders, in the continuity of a process already underway, further encourages these women to get involved in the political game given their low representation, notably 31.1% in the National Assembly, 26% in the Senate and 8% for mayors.

Family picture with two members of government, UN agencies and OIF representative taking part.
Family picture with two members of government, UN agencies and OIF representative taking part. Photo credit: Joseph LINDJECK, UN Women Cameroon