Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

The 13th edition of the 16 days of activism campaign Against gender-based violence kicks off in Cameroon under the theme “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Minister Abena Ondoa Marie-Therese, Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family officially launcing the 16 days campaign in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women
Minister Abena Ondoa Marie-Therese, Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family officially launcing the 16 days campaign in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, the Government of Cameroon and the UN System officially launched the 16 days of activism campaign against gender based violence with a call to all actors to pay attention to the issue of consent, identified as one of the key challenges in prevention and eradication of rape and sexual violence against women and girls. The launch event which brought together over 300 stakeholders from women associations, CSO’s, academia, government and UN Agencies was organized under the theme “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”. The ceremony was co-chaired by Allegra Baiocchi, Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Cameroon, and ABENA Ondoa Marie-Thérèse Obama, Minister of Women empowerment and the family (MINPROFF).

In her address to officially launch the 16 days of activism campaign, Minister ABENA Ondoa decried the prevailing trend of sexual violence and rape of young girls in Cameroon. She called on stakeholders to use the legal instruments and institutions put in place by government to punish perpetrators of this dehumanizing abuse. On her part, Ms Allegra Baiocchi, UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon used this opportunity to renew the commitment of the United Nations to work with all stakeholders to eliminate violence against women and girls. “The United Nations in Cameroon is determined to work hand in hand with the government, and all other partners to change the prevailing narratives and promote a world free of rape and all forms of violence. It is necessary to promote a male mindset that respects women” she advised.

Participants attending the 16 days campaign launch event in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women
Participants attending the 16 days campaign launch event in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women

 

Aïssatou DOUMARA winner of the first Simon Veil price and cofounder of the Association to Fight violence Against (ALVF) shared some testimonies of girls whose lives were cut short due to rape and sexual abuse. Ms Doumara made an appeal to stakeholders to put all hands-on deck and take action to ensure respect for women's rights as much remains to be done.  "We must raise awareness among traditional and religious authorities as well as the educational community, for women still face violence in our country despite what is being done to guarantee the protection and promotion of their rights" She appealed.

Mme Allegra Baiocchi, UN Cameroon Resident Coordinator, delivering the speech of the UN SG to participants attending the 16 days campaign launch event in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women
Mme Allegra Baiocchi, UN Cameroon Resident Coordinator, delivering the speech of the UN SG to participants attending the 16 days campaign launch event in Cameroon. Photo credit, Teclaire Same/UN Women

 

The launch ceremony was also graced by HeForShe Ambassadors, Ministers, Head of UN Agencies, the German Ambassador to Cameroon and other members of the Diplomatic Corps. Several sensitization and capacity building activities will be organised throughout the national territory during this 16 days including inter alia; sensitization of members of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Cameroon Chapter, on sexual harassment in the media, theatre show on violence against women, visit of women ambassadors and wives of Ambassadors to women and girls survivors of gender based violence.