In a video circulating on social media, Tassang Wilfred, programs coordinator of outlawed consortium, thanks women in the North West and South West regions for boycotting celebrations marking this year’s edition of the International Women’s Day
Women in the North West and South West regions refused to take part in celebrations marking the 2017 edition of the International Women’s Day. They boycotted the event in response to calls from the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium which requested that citizens in these regions should observe a ghost town on March 8, in protest of internet shutdown and detention of protesters seeking equality.
We gathered women who took part in celebrations of this edition of the Women’s Day in some major towns of the English-speaking regions were mainly staff of public institutions, some whom claimed to have been compelled to do so. A Bamenda city dweller who spoke to Journal du Cameroun yesterday at about noon, said there is no celebration in Bamenda.
“I am here at City Chemist Roundabout. This is where the cue of women’s group waiting to march past at the Commercial Avenue usually starts. There is no one here and I don’t see any woman in the Women’s Day fabric. Shops are closed and only a few commercial bike riders are on the streets, probably boys from the West region” our source said under condition of anonymity.
He told Journal du Cameroun that it is possible a few women will march past in front of the grand stand at Commercial Avenue. “But I am not going up there. We know the type of people who shun our protests.” He also informed us that he made some calls and found out that his home town of Kumbo has the appearance of a dead town.
Other sources said the march past at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue lasted about 40minutes.
Some women who boycotted the event, did not only remain indoors, but went about doing their usual daily activities. Such was the case in Bingo and Fundong in Boyo Division where concurrent sources told us, women rather went to work on their farms.
We learned government however succeeded to organise low key commemorative activities in some other major cities across Anglophone regions such as Buea, Limbe, Mutengene and Kumba where the traditional march past only lasted 30 minutes.
In a video message circulating on social media, Wilfred Tassang, Programs Coordinator of the Consortium thanks women for a “resounding boycott of the Women’s Day.” “You have told the government that you want your husbands and your children to come back home and you have told the world that you are unhappy”. He urged citizens to be steadfast in the protest and warned they will suffer a greater marginalisation if they give up on “the struggle” for equality.
Worthy of note is the fact that not only the outlawed Consortium’s called for boycott of the women’s day as part of its non-violent protest strategy in its struggle for the “restoration of the statehood of West Cameroon”. Edith Kah Wallah, Douala-based politician and social activist had equally called on women in Cameroon to turn their backs on the celebration of this year’s Women’s Day.
She reminded women in her call that children have been killed, leaders (of the protest) arrested, children are out of school, the economy of Cameroon is down and the rights of Cameroonians to communicate have been violated.
Celebrations nonetheless, went on hitch-free in other regions of the country, with First Lady Chantal Biya gracing the event at the May 20 Blvd in Yaounde.