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Violence against women in Cameroon

Human Rights

The human rights of female children in Cameroon and elsewhere, even when protected on paper, are violated in practice. An equitable and egalitarian world order must be established. Girls are subjected to female infanticide, feticide, lack of social and economic development, burdensome domestic work, early marriage and childbearing, neglect and denial of healthy living conditions, sexual abuse and exploitation, prostitution, rape, and a denial of their right.

Violence against women

Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by “individuals” as well as “states”. Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are: rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence. as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as forced marriage, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, breast ironing and marriage by abduction. Regardless of whether it is physical, emotional or takes some other form, abuse often follows an escalating pattern in which the controlling behaviors worsen over time.

International organizations operating in Cameroon such as United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP as well as local non governmental organizations such as the Association for the Fight against Violence on the Women, the Cameroon Association of Female Jurists, etc. have been actively engaged in the advancement of women and the fight against violence carried on them;

Causes of Gender Based Violence

Studies on violence combine demographic, behavioral and socio-economic factors with the general attitude of the society towards gender based violence. The study on the situation of gender based violence in Cameroon dwells on socio-cultural norms, lack of awareness by women of their rights and available remedies for poverty.

Politically, GBV may be caused among other things by sexist prejudices and stereotypes, bringing about the idea of inferiority and/or inability of women. This is what justifies discrimination against women and their low representation in decision making positions at both national and international levels.

Economic dependence

From an economic perspective, the low access to resources and their control, the economic dependence of women vis-à-vis the men are favorable factors to the exercise of all forms of violence and exploitation against women. Our habits and customs tolerate some violence specific to women as it the case with the husband’s right of correction, the practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), early marriage and levirate.

Violence is thus explained by age, educational level, difference in perception of man and woman, differences in societal expectations regarding men and women, different perceptions of life, love, relationship intimacy and marital life, a single ended and complementary communication, the low representation of women in spheres of decisions. Violence can also be explained by the tolerance it receives from men and women themselves.