The United Nations System in Cameroon and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF) organized a series of activities to commemorate the 2016 International Women’s Day (IWD) on the theme chosen by the Cameroon government: “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Meeting the challenge and overcoming the obstacles” from 04 – 08 March 2016. The theme for this 31 edition of IWD was taken from the global theme proposed by the United Nations: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.
The UN System participated at the 2-day Exhibition set-up by MINPROFF at the esplanade of the Yaounde City Council from 03 to 04 March 2016 with a ONE UN STAND with UN Women and UNIC as lead. UN publications and documents on the IWD Theme and related issues were on display and for distribution to visitors at the stand such as Peace and Security, Development, Human Rights, Education of the young girls, UNSC Resolution 1325, Convention on the Elimination of all discrimination against women, UNSG Campaign to End Violence against Women, Maternal health, Population, Health, Gender, Children’s Right, Human Rights, Refugee Protection, Africa Renewal’s Special Edition on Women, amongst others.
These were contributed by UNWOMEN, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, UNFPA, UNCHRD and UNIC. The stand received more than 400 visitors. UNIC also distributed copies of the UNSG message and Information Kits to special Guests, Civil Society leaders and the media.
UNIC Yaounde, on behalf of the United Nations System organized a UN4U Educational Outreach Event at the Siantou University Institute on 7 March 2016. The main objective of this Educational Talk was to share vital information on the 2016 theme with students and provide hints and tips that could help attain the 50-50 parity in gender equality in Cameroon by 2030.
The Present General of the Siantou University, Honorable Wantou Siantou Lucien welcomed the UN delegation. UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon; Mrs Najat Rochdi in turn encouraged students of the Siantou University Institute to be models in the respect of gender equality in their daily interaction as student, in their homes and the society.
Panel discussions were moderated by Mrs Rochdi, and different sub-themes were presented by panelists comprised of the following heads of UN agencies;
- Adama Moussa (UNWOMEN) on “Women and Access to factors of Production”,
- Mrs Felicité Tchibindat (UNICEF) on “Peace, Security and violence Against Women and Girls”
- Mrs Barbara Sow (UNFPA) on “Violence Against Women and maternal mortality”.
Panelists shared statistics on the situation of access to school by young girls, situation of Violence Against Women, and the importance of women’s access to economic opportunities. They equally shared knowledge and experience on some traditional and cultural obstacles to women empowerment in the area of maternal mortality and female genital mutilation, while spelling out some major advancement by Cameroon. Answers were provided to questions raised by students, with a call for the active involvement of youths and women (who constitute more than 51% of the population) for an emerging Cameroon by 2030, free of all forms of gender violence. UNIC distributed copies of the UNSG message and Information Kits to special Guests and the media.