Gender Equality: Recording Significant Progress

An increase in the number of women in elective and appointed positions in the country as well as certain regulations put in place are factors geared at promoting gender equality.

Eliminating gender disparity in decision-making process in Cameroon is steadily evolving. In Cameroon, there is the National Gender Policy which has the objective of contributing to the encouraging representation of women in political positions. Over the years, the number of women in appointed and elected positions has recorded significant progress, though women continue to clamour for more positions. T

here is equally the Electoral Code which highlight the consideration of gender aspects in the political life of the country. In its Section 150(3) on provisions relating to the election of Member of Parliament, it states “each list shall take into consideration the various sociological components of the constituency concerned. It shall also take into consideration gender aspects.” As a result, women are subsequently being represented in several political spheres such as diplomacy, territorial administration, defence and security, amongst others.

The Presidential decree of February 7, 2018 creating and appointing members of the Constitutional Council featured a female, Justice Arrey Florence Rita. In Diplomacy, women are equally considered with Odette Melono being Cameroon’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At the international scene, women are representing Cameroon is top ranking positions with Hon. Emilia Mojowa Lifaka elected on November 7, 2017 as Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Prof Agbor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang elected in July same year as Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission.

Presently, there are 11 female Ministers in government appointed by President Paul Biya. Of course, women are present in Ministries as Secretaries of State, Secretary Generals, Directors and other managerial positions. The presence of women in Cameroon’s Parliament has considerably improved. At the Senate, there are 26 female Senators in the current legislature, up from 21 in the last legislative period. The present legislature at the National Assembly has 56 female elected Parliamentarians who were voted in the 2013 legislative election. Women actually represent 31.1 per cent at the law making House.

This is against 25 women who were in the 8th legislative period. Out of the 360 Mayors in the country, 31 are women, representing 6.7 per cent. At the level of territorial administration, there are at the moment two Senior Divisional Officers. There are Rachel Akono Ngazang, SDO of Mvila Division in the South Region and Antoinette Nzongo Nyambone in service at the Koung-Khi Division of the West.

Within the ranks of defence and security, women have been accorded prominent positions. Oyono née Thom Cecile is Inspector General at the General Delegation of National Security. There are numerous female Police Commissioners and Directors who work at guaranteeing public security. While women are increasingly being appointed and elected into decision making positions in the country, they hope for a continuation and improvement of the process.

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