Women mobilize for lasting peace in Cameroon

The Palais des Congrès in Yaoundé was the venue, from July 29 to 31, 2021, for the 1st National Convention of Women for Peace in Cameroon, organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Cameroon and Central Africa office.

The solemn opening ceremony of the said convention was presided over by Ndoh Bertha Barkata, Chargé d’affaires at the Prime Minister’s Office, who is also the personal representative of the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, and was attended by the Canadian High Commissioner, Richard Bale.

This first convention had three major objectives: development, equality and peace. The three-day event resulted in the adoption of an agreement for the promotion of peace in Cameroon.

“We have come together as mothers of men, wives of men and sisters of men, and we will build an alliance that is stronger, more vocal and more numerous than those who profit from war,” said Yvonne Muma, president of Cameroon women’s peace movement (CAWOPEM).

‘Nothing will silence us or slow us down. Not the difficult memories, not the painful testimonies, not the ignorance of those who do not respect women. Women indeed pay a disproportionate price every day in armed conflicts. We will also demonstrate that we can meet these challenges,’ continued Yvonne Muma.

This historical event, which will mark the history of peace in Cameroon, brought together over 1,000 women from all ten regions of the country.

They had made the trip with the common goal of building a lasting peace in Cameroon. “We met at the Palais des Congrès to make the world listen to the call of women for peace.”

“There were workshops on concrete tracks and solutions, different topics. In the end, we launched our women’s appeal with resolutions, concrete recommendations and then we worked on different tracks,” said Nina Netzer, resident representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Cameroon and Central Africa Office.

For the deaconess Jacqueline Ndombo, “when women decide to move from words to action, even the angels in heaven agree. May this conclave, which brought together many women, be a model for our country in particular, but also for the world in general.”

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