During her stay in France for the Paris Peace Forum, she joined other First Ladies in the cause at a working lunch.
Cameroon’s First Lady, Chantal Biya has again demonstrated her interest to empower young girls through education. This was seen during her stay in Paris for the second Paris Peace Forum that took place from the 12 to 13 of November 2019. Mrs Biya, who is also UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador joined the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron and some six other First Ladies in a luncheon that was dedicated to the education of the young girl. The event was organised by the First Lady of the Republic of France, Brigitte Macron, on the side-line of the Paris Peace Forum.
The gathering permitted the First Ladies to underscore the fact that education is a basic right, examine the plight of some 130 million girls around the world who currently cannot attend school while creating a platform which can serve to draw global attention to the issue and create opportunities for change. While actors at the Paris Peace Forum discussed global governance issues and multilateralism, the First Spouses through their working lunch felt it will absolutely make sense for them, if they care about climate change, poverty, maternal child health as well as the education of their girls.
It was but normal for Mrs Biya as UNESCO’S Goodwill Ambassador for Education and Social Inclusion, Mrs Macron, a former teacher and other First Ladies, mostly from the African continent to gather and think about their daughters who are not going to school, with all their promises and dreams wasting. Such is the situation of many girls around the world and they are battling through wrong perceptions, violence, stigma, to get their way into a classroom yet, many are unable to have access to school. This is evident in Cameroon as the UNESCO Institute for Statistics indicate that 70 per cent of Cameroonian young girls are illiterate especially in the Northern parts of the country where girls’ access to education is still a problem in spite of efforts by the government and humanitarian actions of the First Lady, Chantal Biya, through her Foundation and charitable association, the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC).
For over a decade now, the education of the young girl is among the top priorities of Mrs Chantal Biya and this is not the first time she is joining other First Ladies to tell the world that young girls need to be educated to acquire knowledge and skills needed to advance their status for social interactions and self-improvement. In September 2016, Cameroon's First Lady attended a concert for spouses of Heads of State hosted by Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States of America, in New York. The event was dedicated to the “Let Girls Learn” initiative; for the education of adolescent girls in the world. It was organized on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly. During that event, Chantal Biya joined Michelle Obama in her “Let Girls Learn” initiative with principal engagement “the education of a girl is the creation of a strong family, a stronger community and a better future for the society.” The just-ended Paris Peace Forum has been another opportunity for the First Lady of Cameroon to spread her know-how in promoting the education of the young girl as well as bringing more actors to see with the popular adage which says; “Educating a woman means educating the world”.