14, October 2016
Cameroon will on the 15th of October 2016 join the International Community to observe the International Day of the Rural Woman commemorated under the theme, “Empowering Rural Women, Ensuring Food Security and Ending Poverty.” Discussions have already started with some elite attempting to answer the question of who is a rural woman and how the rural communities are coping with the challenges of the 21st century. In Cameroon, a rural woman is considered as one who dwells in a rural area and depends largely on agriculture, livestock, fishing and mining.
Cameroon’s rich landscape makes her activities relatively easy even though she faces a number of challenges including access to funding. Cameroon’s rural women however, have been exposed to a number of positive changes which has affected their mentality over the years. The mentality change, some of the women have opined is thanks to their affiliation to little groupings and associations where they have been made to understand they are worth more than just the farmlands and the animal farming they are involved in.
Some government officials have observed that the rural women have been taught how to develop their businesses and they have also been introduced into other self-reliant activities including “njangis”, thereby partly resolving the issue of funding. The CPDM government through the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family has also been actively involved in upgrading the status of rural women in the country. Their production rate has increased due to training, counselling and donation of farm tools and seedlings from NGOs and government.
Celebrations this year will also focus on some setbacks including insufficient access to information, inaccessible roads, isolation, influence of stereotypes and difficult access to land among others faced by the women.