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UN Women partner with LUKMEF to economically empower 1,364 rural women




UN Women and LUKMEF-Cameroon through a grant agreement signed recently has provided 9 million Francs CFA ( $18,500) to 3 legalized rural women food cooperative within the framework of the economic empowerment of rural women in Cameroon. Originally designed to support 400 rural women, women participation in the project has reached an unprecedented number of 1,364 women in 3 months and over 16 other villages have applied to join the project.

This demand has now motivated the LUKMEF Board of directors to move the project to a 5 years program that will see the creation and support of 50 rural women food cooperatives in Cameroon reaching over 20.000 women directly and over 100.000 children as indirect beneficiaries. The objective of the program is to increase the family income of rural women by 50% and double food production within this time frame. Through the cooperatives, other social services like health insurance, water and sanitation and rural solar electricity will be brought to members. The five years program is projected to cost about $674 000 . . .

For better legal protection of the cooperatives and the women, a renowned female judge and feminist activist (Justice Vera Ngasa - vice president of the Buea court of Appeal) and a student magistrate ( Mrs. Mbamoh Lovet) have been called in to provide pro bono legal assistance to the women and their cooperatives in times of need. The legal experts will also focus on other issues such as land rights, marital rights as well as political and economic rights of women through regular education and direct legal aid.

The grants were signed at Awing on the 16/11/2012 in the presence of Mrs. Arlette Mvondo ( UN Women national program Officer) and a host of other government officials such as the Sub Divisional officer for Santa and the Mayor of the Santa Rural Council. Over 900+ women and a host of others from the participating villages showed up during the signing ceremony that also mark the annual meeting of Awing women.



Men are permitted to become members of the cooperatives but will NEVER hold elected or managerial positions in the cooperatives.


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5 rural women food cooperative Leaders to visit India

Negotiations by LUKMEF-Cameroon has yielded partial sponsorship for five leaders of rural women food cooperatives to visit India in 2013 to learn modern irrigation for better farm yield at JAIN Irrigation systems. JAIN irrigation is a leading global company in drip irrigation and other climate resilient technologies in agriculture, Biogas, food processing and solar energy production. Fundraising to support transport is now ongoing.



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WOMEN IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE

The north west traditional leaders ( Fons) still commands a lot of respect and authority. While the older generation of these leaders continue to hold onto the old practices, the younger Fons are beginning to understand the importance of Gender in their local administration. The Fon of Awing recently began admitting women into the traditional administration of the village with some women holding tittles that were originally reserved for men. These women are also allowed to discus key village issues with the men. Widowhood rights in the village have been reviewed with major adjustments in recent years.




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Mrs. Arlette Posses with some of the female notables of Awing village during the signing of the cooperative grants


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Group Picture with the Bamock and the Baligham Women Food Cooperatives.
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unwomen11.jpg Representatives of the 3 funded cooperatives posses with the bill boards




For more information email us at christian@lukmefcameroon.org.