Cameroon: South West - Peer Leaders Empowered to Educate Society

Buea (Fako)-Given the continuous disturbing reports recorded on the media on the high rate of violence ills some women undergoes in the hands of their husbands, brothers, uncles and other male relatives, some NGOs are bent on scaling down the level. In this light UN Women, Voices of Women, LUKMEF, FIDA Cameroon and Dynamic Women for Vision assembled some 30 peer leaders for a one day seminar in Buea to train peer leaders on the fight against gender based violence. Resource person included medics, lawyers and gender specialists.

Barrister Janet Wirba in an elaborate presentation pointed how various gender based violence manifest itself in various homes and communities. She was quick to also label the various consequences as prescribed in the Cameroon Penal Code to defaulters. The peer leaders were encouraged to be tactful in encouraging victims of gender based violence in their community to speak out. The woman of law pointed different avenues like the Police, the Commission of Human Rights, NGOs and the courts where redress can be sought.

Another resource person, Njie Mary, a senior staff at South West Regional Delegation for Women Empowerment and the Family, presented various forms of violence. They ranged from physical violence, sexual, emotional and psychological and economic violence. She enumerated the consequences on the victims which were seen to be very devastating.

The peer leaders were instructed on how to handle any specific issues. Ndemabongchia Mariesthel, one of the learners, said that she is well armed with knowledge to educate people in her community to stop maltreating their women folk and will equally create avenues where violators can be reported.

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