Tuesday, January 22, 2013
ENHANCING WOMEN’S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN CAMEROON
We are currently living in an era with the highest- ever total number of female leaders serving simultaneously with three out of twenty from Africa namely President ELLEN JOHNSON- SIRLEAF of Liberia, President MONIQUE OHSAN- BELLEPEAU of Mauritius, President JOYCE BANDA of Malawi On the 31st of December 2012 the head of state, President Paul Biya during his traditional end of year speech to the Nation announced that, Senatetorial, legislative and municipal elections would be held in 2013 for Cameroonians to elect their senators, parliamentarians as well as their mayors. This is the time for change. I am calling on all Cameroonian women of all works of life to select more women candidates at their various political party’s circles be it the ruling party or the opposition parties to stand as candidates for the upcoming elections. Elections involve three key rights, namely the right to take part in government, the right to vote and the right to be voted. This means that people express their will, determine government authority and participate in the decision making process at the national, regional and local level Democratic governance warrants that people actively participate in the political life of their country. The effective and efficient application of the principles of participation, self determination and non-discrimination, ordains that all persons without exception be involved in the electoral process. Past experience in Cameroon has shown that some segments of the population have often been marginalized in the management of public affairs. These groups include Women, persons with disabilities etc. Women in this country should take this as an opportunity to challenge and turn the political platform in this country to make their voices to be heard so that they can all enjoy equality in all spheres To turn this dream to a reality is a collective effort for all women, an effort to move forward because we all have reaffirmed the spirit to registered massively on the electoral register at our various communities which constitutes the bedrock of participation in the electoral process either as a voter or as a candidate seeking office, the spirit to vote for our fellow women during the upcoming elections no matter their political parties but for us to make a difference. The spirit that will lift up this country struggle for gender equality from despair to great hope. I strongly believe Women with the support of men can seize this country future together because we are all united and our Nation can make a great difference. I will end by calling on all the directors of all the Women Empowerment Centers throughout the republic, Women’s Rights Advocates, NGO‘s who advocate for women right to continue fanning the struggle.