In the past women were seen as “the weaker sex”, they were socially, politically, economically and culturally inferior to their husbands. Subdue to remain under a man or boy in every domain.
Just when the world saw the need for women’s equal right to participate in education, society, economy and politics and as more and more women become empowered; they have become the biggest victims of war. More than 41M people worldwide are living in a situation of internally displacement caused by disasters; wars and half are women and girls (IDMC, 2020). Sub Saharan Africa had highest number of Internally Displaced women and girls, meanwhile Cameroon as a result of the present Anglophone crisis according to OCHA 2021 reports, more than 705,800 are Internally displaced, 830,000 people in need in host countries . 60% of the said populations are women and girls.
Then COVID-19 pandemic came with other issues; women are more economically and emotionally stressed without protection from all forms of violence. Despite the disputes, Women choose to challenge gender stereotypes/biases, call out gender actions or assumptions, maintain gender equal mindset and foster development.
ERuDeF Centre for the Advancement of Women’s Initiatives (CAWI) has as objective to empower women and girls through its women, gender and humanitarian programmes. We have impacted more than 100,000 women and girls by given them the right knowledge, skills, materials for a better strategic, healthy and peaceful world. This year we support internally displaced women with skills like soap making to earn money, assist with loans for internally displaced women to startup businesses, engage women and girls in ecosystem restoration and provide alternative sources of income for women in ERuDeF conservation spots, support internally displaced children especially girls return to school, educate the younger generation especially girls on the importance of this day and ensure every staff of ERuDeF is gender sensitive.
With the theme for the year 2021 ‘Women in Leadership; Achieve an equal future in a COVID -19 world. Women leaders in ERuDeF and men as well gave us an insight of how they have been able to handle work, family, Anglophone crisis and COVID-19 during these difficult moments. In all Women play a great role during these periods as caregivers, innovators, community organizers, counselors and fighters amidst all these crises.
Let us celebrate the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women while supporting them in any way we can.