Within the context to eradicate violence against Women and Girls throughout Cameroon, a first national civil society mechanism to end Violence Against Women and Girls has been put in place. This was the fallout of a two days conference organised by LUKMEF Cameroon, With Funds from the UN Trust Fund to end Violence against Women and Girls. The conference, which was organised at the Pan-African Institute for Development West Africa (PAIDWA) Buea, brought together over one hundred participants , which consisted of members of civil Society Organisations, traditional authorities, forces of law and order, medical personnel, survivors and relevant government ministries.
Organised under the theme “Improving standards in GBV service provision through better Civil Society Organizations And Service Providers Coordination” the conference also sought to meet up with national and international standards as justified by the Cameroon Strategic plan to end GBV as articulated by the CEO of LUKMEF Cameroon Christian Tanyi “We as civil society organisations are actually aligning our work with the efforts of the government to reduce GBV through education at the community level and within the house hold. By this, within the frame work of a national Forum give holistic services, legal and psycho-social support to help survivors recover” he said.
The Conference, witnessed the validation of the National Minimum Package of Prevention and Response Services (MPPRS). It also revealed some statistics pertaining to gender base violence in Cameroon. According to facilitators, 34 percent women within the age of 15 to 49 suffer physical abuse in Cameroon while 60 percent encounter emotional torture as a result of early marriages. “We have a lot of cases VAW/G especially in traditional settings such as mine. There is hardly a day without me receiving complaints from a woman on abuses she receives from the husband, it is a big worry” HRH. Molive Molunga, laments. The conference also resolved in strengthening the role of traditional rulers and Religious leaders in the fight to end Violence against Women and Girls.
Judging from situational analysis and current statistics presented at the first National Conference a monitoring and reporting App on gender based violence referred to as ‘’Ops4women’’ was also presented to participants at the conference. This according the CEO of LUKMEF CAMEROON will permit a nationwide monitoring and reporting of GBV across the nation. “What we have done so far is to set up a platform where survivors as well as those at risk can report cases without necessarily disclosing their identities. With the referral system which has been set up within the framework of this conference, we think working as a team will give various entry points for survivors to access services”. Christian Tanyi noted.
From the presentations and knowledge gathered from the conference many expressed deep appreciation to the organisers while pledging their commitment to the resolutions indicating that lessons learnt are timely and will go a long way in enhancing GBV activities in their respective Regions “I really thank LUKMEF Cameroon for this initiative I had so much to write home about and to impact my community especially with the introduction of the OPS4WOMEN App and it advantages in the digital world.” Nigel Mbaya a participant affirms.
In this light, more successes will certainly be recorded in the elimination of VAW/G through the national territory as activists at the end of the first national civil society took the commitment to hold the event at least once every year to evaluate the level of progress on the fight to end Gender Base violence in all its forms in Cameroon.
Michael Neforneseh and Njayo Blesed