Forestry: Women Urged To Join Wood Processing

This was the object of a roundtable conference which took place on Friday March 26 in Douala.

A roundtable conference on the theme ‘what opportunities for women in the forestry-wood sector’ took place at the Institut Francais in Douala on Friday March 26. Panelists were drawn from the French Development Agency, the Centre for international cooperation and agronomic research for development, CIRAD, the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife as well as the coordinator of the Network of Training Institutions in Forestry and environment in central Africa, RIFFAEC. According to Hortense Ella-Menye Batindek of the ‘Association Technique Internationale des bois tropicaux’, the roundtable was organized to present the opportunities of business available for women in the forestry or wood processing sector so as to encourage women to pick up trades in forestry or wood processing sector. For instance, today we saw a young lady who is making a living from wood decoration, she said. According to the gender development expert, Thaddée Yossa, the wood sector is considered hitherto reserved for men whereas women are beginning to make headways into the sector both in terms of representation in institutions and organizations but also in terms of trades. Such examples need to be highlighted so as to encourage other young women to get involved. He disclosed that the roundtable was organized in view of coming up with a common strategy on having more women in the wood sector recommended by RIFFAEC and a plan of implementation. He said the implementation plan would by applied by any training institution in its own measure. The changes are not big. There are little changes in habit like recruiting women for work hitherto done by men or encouraging women to set up petty businesses around the wood sector. Prior to the roundtable, was a quiz aimed at testing the knowledge of the public on the degree of women involvement in the forestry-wood processing sector. Prizes constituted of objects made from wood by some women from the ‘Art au Feminin’ business venture.

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