The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment (Minproff) leads in the representation of women in leadership positions with a 63.01% rate, according to the 2022 gender performance list published every three years by Minproff to assess gender inclusivity in public administrations. Following closely, the Ministry of Social Affairs (Minas) secured the second position, boasting a female representation rate of 56.44%. Remarkably, these two administrations stand out as the only ones in Cameroon surpassing the 50% mark, aligning with the African Union's (AU) recommended gender parity threshold.
The AU has always taken Rwanda as a model country in terms of women's representation in public administration. It encourages other member states to emulate the strides made by Paul Kagame's country, where gender parity is a significant priority. However, Cameroon lags considerably on this benchmark, as indicated by the Minproff-produced ranking.
No Female Minister of State
Indeed, Cameroon’s overall representation of women in public administration was 26.34% in 2021 (the latest stat from the Minproff). This is down from the 29.75% recorded in 2019. Notably, Minproff observes that fewer than 37% of the institutions assessed meet the 30% threshold for women's representation.
Furthermore, Cameroon faces challenges in achieving gender balance at the highest echelons of power. In Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute's government, no woman holds the position of Minister of State, and of the 31 ministerial portfolios, only seven are occupied by women. There are no female governors and just one female prefect in the entire country.
Minproff emphasizes that discussions on women's participation in decision-making lose meaning when based on unfounded claims. In this context, the gender performance list serves as both evidence and an advocacy tool for all stakeholders. It aims to create a reflective impact on administrations, fostering increased attention and interest in addressing issues related to women's participation in citizenship and the promotion of equal opportunities for both genders in urban areas.
Michel Ange Nga