Cameroon:HOFNA empowers grassroot associations to fight gender based violence

Over 100 grassroots organisations across the country that work on gender based violence have taken the commitment to fight against…

Over 100 grassroots organisations across the country that work on gender based violence have taken the commitment to fight against the societal ill and promote an environment where men and women live together as partners.

They took the commitment following a three-day National human Rights Conference organized in Yaoune by the Hope for the Needy Association, HOFNA with support from the German Embassy.

The conference is part of a project dubbed National Initiative to end violence against women and girls which is run by HOFNA.

The main aim of the conference was to capture lessons learned, improve reporting, support systems and resilience mechanisms to protect and promote women’s rights in crisis and conflict situations while adding grassroots perspective to support the realization of the purpose of resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council in Cameroon.

To achieve, this objective, over 100 leaders drawn from civil society organizations, associations, local councils as well as faith-based organizations all converged on Yaounde where they were trained and empowered on better ways to fight against gender based violence.

To Christelle Bay, Executive Director of HOFNA, the training will facilitate the establishment of a national gender violence survival support network across Cameroon with community leaders serving as counselors for identifying and reporting GBV cases for response, coordination and legal action.

She equally added that the gathering will help facilitate the development of a local action plan as well as legislation on women, peace and security in view on concretising the realization of UNSCR1325 in Cameroon.

Opening the conference in Yaounde on Tuesday, December 8, Bigette Neba, Technical Adviser No 2 at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, representing the Minister, hailed the initiative by HOFNA to adopt a bottom-up strategy to end gender-based violence in Cameroon.

She added that government is determined to end gender based violence in Cameroon and the efforts of HOFNA in the domain will go a long way in achieving this objective.

One of the participants, Patience Ngam, said the workshop will give women a voice and strength to fight against gender based violence because they will be fighting with “facts”.

“This workshop has given me that strength to fight against gender based violence and know that women are usually the most vulnerable in crisis situations and even in the current pandemic, the women suffering from cancer have suffered a lot,” she said

“This initiative came at a very important time because it is not only giving strength to the women but is bringing in the men on board which has equally given a broader view in the fight against gender based violence,” she added.