Source: Daily Nation
Cameroonian women have called on the government to respect national and international conventions it signed by ensuring parity between men and women in appointments to top positions and elective offices.
The call was made in Douala this week during a meeting of members and leaders of various women's associations and civil society organisations in Cameroon.
The women met under the auspices of a newly-formed women's umbrella group — Ensemble Pour la Parité (Together For Parity).
In a declaration issued on Sunday, the women say while females constitute over 51 per cent of the national population, their representation in decision-making bodies in the country is less than 25 per cent in the most favourable cases and in some cases less than 10 per cent.
They note that only 13 per cent of National Assembly members are women and only 6.4 per cent are represented in councils throughout the country. They say of the 60 ministers in the cabinet, only nine are women.
"In spite of the political willingness expressed in speeches by the Head of State and the ratification of regional and international instruments on the promotion of rights and equality by Cameroon, the situation remains the same — parity is not effective in Cameroon," the women declared.
They made reference to UN conventions on women's rights that recommend that women be represented by at least 30 per cent in all decision-making positions in government.
"This is the basis of our fight. It is now more urgent than ever before for everyone to understand that it is time for parity," said Edith Din Mongué, who is behind the creation of Together For Parity.