The annual international campaign "16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls" will kick off on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day. This year, the European Union (EU) and Team Europe, the five member states (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Belgium) with a diplomatic representation in Cameroon, are once again joining this campaign initiated by the United Nations for a joint program. They are also reaffirming their commitment to women's rights and to the right to live in a world free from gender-based violence.
The program includes a series of activities in cities across the country, including a "grand concert to raise awareness of violence against women" next Saturday in front of the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex.
"For several years now, the '16 Days of Activism' have been an opportunity for member states in Cameroon to show that, if better coordinated, our actions have a greater impact. Team Europe works with all Cameroonians against all forms of gender-based violence in every region of the country. Eradicating gender-based violence is a challenge we share on every continent. I'm particularly pleased that this year's event will focus on young people, as they represent the future of Cameroon and Africa," says Jean Marc Châtaigner, EU ambassador to Cameroon.
This year's theme, "United we stand: Investing to prevent violence", underlines the importance of adopting a comprehensive, long-term approach to developing effective actions to combat violence against women and girls. This international campaign comes at a time of rising femicide and violence against women in Cameroon. According to the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family (Minproff), at least 30 femicides have been recorded in the country this year.
According to Minproff Marie Thérèse Abena Ondoa, this violence most often takes place in family settings, and she is calling for all forces to join the combat against this scourge. The most recent femicide case is that of a teacher beaten to death by her husband in the Ndogpassi district of Douala last weekend. The tragedy sparked a wave of anger and sadness among the people. Given the scale of the phenomenon, associations are calling for the adoption of a specific framework law, and for "urgent measures" to be taken until such a law is passed.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem