Gender Based Violence (GBV) is still a call for concern in Africa and Cameroon; reports especially from Rural Communities indicate women are the most vulnerable, while in the Urban areas young girls are faced with continuous sexual harassment, rape and sometimes murder. Most survivals of this violence are often lukewarm in reporting the perpetrators as they are scared of the stigmatization which follows. Cases involving family members are sometimes concealed by these families opening the gates of violence against women and girls to prevail. despite several systems put in place to fight GBV survivals often find it difficult to access immediate attention especially in the case of rape which can lead to transfer of Sexual Transmitted diseases, Psychological breakdown, Pregnancy and a host of complications.
Taking advantage of the technological revolution, LUKMEF Cameroon under the United Nations Trust Fund Project have developed the Ops4Women mobile Application. According to the CEO of LUKMEF Tanyi Christian, This app gives survivors a platform to report the violence and access immediate response from service providers irrespective of their location’ Christian added that the app will go a long way to help survivors as well as provide statistics which could be used to influence policy and identify areas where GBV is predominant.
the Ops4Women application or its online platform permits users to report any form of violence, it has links to the Minimum Package of Prevention and Response services which educate survivors on what steps to take when faced with violence. The app also has a data base of service providers who are on standby to render services to survivors of GBV. To ensure it meets the needs of survivors and the other users, the application also has links to experts, GBV Laws and treaties, as well as inspirational and educative videos on GBV. Reacting to the app Dr. Titanji Beatrice said it was a good innovation as it will permit survivors to tell their stories without fear as often they are too traumatized to share their stories when they meet service providers face to face adding her voice to the reactions Eileen Manka Tabuwe, Lecturer at the University of Buea expressed satisfaction with the availability of laws which educate users especially on the punishment for perpetrators. Medical Student Ayuk Gleniss, said, ‘this will be a great platform for women who have been normed by fear to break the silence.
Quizzed on the efficiency and accessibility of the app, Tanyi Christian revealed that; the Ops4Women application could be downloaded from Google play for users with android devices or from Apple store for users with IOS devices. He went on to state that users could also access the platform online through www.options-4-women.org. While lamenting on the continuous violence on women which have gone unnoticed he hoped the coming of the app will change the status quo as above all, survivors will be able to report cases of GBV without the fear of stigmatization from family members or the communities.
While hoping for GBV to become history in Cameroon, it is worth noting that Ops4Women was developed by LUKMEF Cameroon under the United Nations Trust Fund Project, UN Women in collaboration with MINPROFF and a host of Civil Society organisations in the fight of ending GBV in Cameroon.
YULAH Mirabel and W.N. Belle