From Shing Timothy in Buea
The Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, has enlightened some councillors drawn from the South West region on the role of women in peace-building. The local elected officials gained the knowledge during a two-day training exercise in Limbe, Fako division, South West region. It was organised in partnership with the British High Commission in Cameroon.
Participants comprised regional and municipal councilors both male and female from different municipalities, chiefs and quarter heads. The session was an opportunity to discuss some of the hurdles preventing women from being effective peace builders and mediators. The systematic demotion of women’s role in peacebuilding globally and Cameroon in particular according to the trainers was the result of systemic practices and laws limiting women.
Advocacy and awareness campaigns towards ensuring secured participation of women in key positions in our communities has proven successful and getting elected officials on board should is primary. Violet Yigha Fokum, the Executive Director of CHRDA, the councillors were chosen because they are at the forefront of policymaking.
“The elected officials can influence the amendments and enactments of laws to be human rights friendly at all levels,” Fokum said.
The trainings in Buea and Limbe underlines capacity-building to enhance the technical skills of women to better influence and participate in peace processes as negotiators and mediators.