On the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrated yesterday, more than 20,000 Cameroon women from rural and urban areas have assembled in the central African state’s capital Yaounde to press for their rights to education and decision making while urging a stop to early marriages and harmful traditional practices.
A group of women at the central market in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde sing that they, like their peers all over Africa, are longing to be freed from the bondage of strong traditional practices that impede their emancipation and wellbeing. Among them is female activist Emmanuella Mokake of the NGO Cameroon women for Participating in Development. Mokake says her NGO is working to change the perception that women should only bring up babies, carry out domestic chores and work in farms.
“Women and their human rights and women gender equality has never been a war against men because it is normally very misconstrued. Women have realized that they are no more compelled to endure domestic violence because it hampers on their human rights,” she said. “Women are setting out now to say no, enough of this battery. If any man beats a woman, the law under assault and battery clearly handles that.”