Women, experts and other actors have recommended a strong partnership between civil society organisations and policy makers in order to help women accede to leadership roles in the community.
They made they call on Friday, April 29 during a panel discussion organised by the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation,
It was organised on the theme ‘Challenges faced by women in ascending leadership positions in Cameroon’- and under the Promoting Women’s Economic Rights in Cameroon (WERC Project).
During the over one-hour discussion, panellists advanced arguments for a concerted effort by all to ensure the economic empowerment of women to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth
One of the panellists, Ama Tutu Muna, former Minister of Culture and Member of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism stressed the implication of all to empower women and abolish practices that relegate and marginalise women. She frowned at traditional practices that still put women on the fringes and called on civil society organisation to play a leading role in ensuring women ascend to leadership positions.
To Yaa Gladys Viban, gender development consultant, society needs to shift the paradigm from thinking that it is women versus men and to think of women as human beings and how they can bring out their optimum to develop society.
She stressed that government should move ahead to ratify all national and international instruments that help in eliminating gender based violence and end all traditional practices that hinder the growth and development of women.
The empowerment of women must be looked at three levels, notably the structures in place, at the individual level and the community as a whole while also recommending capacity reinforcement of women.
To Dr Ebenezer Wirba, Price Inspector at the Ministry of Trade, the economic empowerment of women must start at the micro level, within the household where the man and the woman must participate in the growth of the family.
‘If men can contribute in promoting the participation of women by understanding that household activities are not solely in the hands of women, it will set the basis for women to go on and participate in the labour market,’ he said.