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Cameroon:female journalists rise up against sexual assault

A group of female journalists in Cameroon are raising their voices against sexual harasssment which is gradually gaining ground in…

A group of female journalists in Cameroon are raising their voices against sexual harasssment which is gradually gaining ground in the media space.

The women have carved out a set of strategies starting this weekend with a one hour thirty minutes twitter chat with over fifteen prominent women of the Cameroon media landscape.

“Female journalists in Cameroon have come together to fight sexual harassmentin the media. It is widespread in our sector and this has to change… make the world (work place) a better place,” award winning journalist and one of the brains behind the initiative Comfort Musa said on her Facebook wall.

Participants can join the conversation through the hashtag #StopSexualHarassment237.

The women have been trending the #MeToo campaign for the past week to help wpomen and young girls speak out against sexual violence in all forms which they migh have suffered.

Rape and sexual assault are punishable in Cameroon under Article 296 with imprisonment of up to five to ten years but several human rights organisations say it is common for the perpetrator to bribe the authorities to have the cases against them dropped.

Though under reported because of lack of evidence, complacency from authorities or the survivor’s inability to speak out of fear of repraisals, sexual violence has been on the rise in Cameroon.

The University of Buea is still to make any official statement since one of its authorities was accused on Facebook by an alleged former student of alleged sexual harassment.

Last month, the Minister of Defence said a soldier, Arthur Mbida, will appear before the Bamenda military court to answer rape charges against a 17-year old girl in Bamenda.

The decision only came after videos had gone viral on social media showing the survivor narrating her ordeal in the hands of the soldier.

Several of such cases go unreported but the social media today is changing the game and the female journalists they are determined to take the lead starting from this channel to create awareness and push their peers to speak up.

 

 

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