Change Care Foundation workshop on Women and Peacebuilding in Cameroon
With the ongoing crises in the NW and SW west Regions of Cameroon, CCF held a workshop on women in peace-building. The situation in the anglophone regions of Cameroon is becoming increasingly desperate, with no one spared from the violence, which is out of control.
Women and girls suffered disproportionately during and after the war, as existing inequalities were magnified, and social networks broke down, making them more vulnerable. More men than women die as a direct consequence of armed conflict; women tend to be victims of wartime rapes, become refugees, and suffer displacement and deprivation.M en are more involved than are women in the decision to go to war; however, women play a number of roles in war-torn societies, including roles that support and sustain the war effort.
Women are often the worst affected by conflict. They often become targets of sexual violence, their husbands and children may be killed – leaving them without support. As the battlefield moves increasingly to the village and the town, women themselves are often the majority of casualties of war.
But women are central in the fight for peace. When men of fighting age have disappeared to war, women become the heads of household, conservers of the community and re-builders of the economy. Women are also highly effective peace-builders if given the opportunity.
The 1995 Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration:
The Platform for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, described itself as an agenda for women’s empowerment. Under its section on Women in Armed Conflict, it clearly set out six strategic objectives aimed at increasing “the participation of women in conflict resolution at decision-making levels” and urged governments, as well as international and regional international institutions, “to integrate gender perspectives in the resolution of armed or other conflicts and foreign occupation.
Women can change society. They can help end war, and bring about lasting peace. It’s time they get the chance to do so.