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Regional News of Thursday, 4 December 2014

Source: The Sun Newspaper

Activists set up new national network to fight violence against women

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Although many argue that violence against women is perpetrated by women themselves, reports show that about 80% of violence on women is done by men. Globally, the most common form of violence women suffer is domestically, at the hands of their husbands, boyfriends and partners.

It is against this backdrop that a new perspective, the Boys-to-Boys Network, has been put in place to engage boys, so as to ease the fight against violence in women.

In the course of a two-day workshop which ran in Limbe recently, organised by a Non-Governmental Group, CAMYOSFOP (Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace) in partnership with UN Women, focus was on this new strategy which aims at strengthening the multi-sectoral male involvement in the promotion of gender equality principles by improving their knowledge and skills in mobilising them in activities to combat sexual and gender-based violence.

Opening the workshop, the representative of the ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Ebou Muoden Christian appreciated CAMYOSFOP for the initiative to fight for women’s equality and said focus must be made to the family because it is within family units that women are mostly violated.

The moderator, Ngalim Eugene of CAMYOSOP, said they are engaging boys because the fight against violence on women has been difficult most often since men are left out. “It is easy for a man to talk to a man than a woman, so we are engaging the boys who are the main perpetrators of this violence. And when we talk of boys, it is not limited to youths, but we mean men in general.This strategy has worked in Kenya and we are certain it will be successful in Cameroon.”

The representative of UN Women at the workshop, Mr. Fonso, urged the participants to put in their best and take action to end all forms of violence against women and make it a thing of the past.

The workshop which had a host of participants drawn from youth associations, the National Youth Council, artists and CAMYOSFOP members, came from all over the country and did power-point presentations, case studies, personal testimonies, plenary discussions among other things, to guide them through the process of identifying, exploring and prioritising some common issues that men, women, boys and girls experience in their own contexts and daily lives, with an aim of finding practical solutions to gender inequality and combating violence in Cameroon.

At the end of the two-day workshop, the trainees explained to The SUN that they have acquired much from this new strategy and will take actions within their various groups to ensure that violence against women becomes a thing of the past in the nearest future.

CAMYOSFOP is an NGO which aims at promoting moral and traditional values to youths in Cameroon and elsewhere.

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