At Restitution Conference: NW Women Advised to Be Peace Builders

NW Women attending the Restitution serminar in Bamenda

At the Restitution of the National Women's Peace Convention, Southwest/Northwest Task force-SNWOT has localised national concerns by giving back to women representing different communities from 7 divisions of the Northwest region.

Partial View of participants

Women, known to be one of the most vulnerable groups in times of crisis, have been advised to share the knowledge gotten from the restitution serminar with their peers back at home, to speak up on cases of gender based violence, visit units incharge of pursuing perpetrators of such violence, while protecting victims and survivors of GBV.

Regional Coordinator SNWOT, NW

"The objective of this restitution is to inform grassroot women about the resolutions and decisions arrived at the national convention which held in Yaounde. It is important to keep these grassroot women from the 7 divisions of the NW abreast with what happens at the national level and for them to see the need to be part of women peace building activities".

"Women have suffered for long, the grassroot women are the ones bearing the effect of the crisis. Women of Cameroon are united to put their voices to call for peace, asking waring factions to drop their weapons and have an inclusive dialogue so that peace can reign for everyone." Regional Coordinator SNWOT, Andiensa Clotilda.

Speakers at the Restitution

Restituting what happened in Yaoundé, the Regional Coordinator for SNWOT NW says all the topics discussed at the level of Yaounde during the convention, were discussed with grassroot women so that no one is left behind.

SNWOT shared knowledge gotten at the national level in order to empower grassroot women, who are expected to talk with their peers when they get back to their communities.

Most of these women shared stories of the husbands, children, love ones, lost property they have lost in the ongoing crisis and recounted the violence they have suffered from both armed groups conflict.

The women task force is preaching the need for women to be firm on their rights, report cases of violence while encouraging them to remain strong morally despite the pain inflicted on them in the course of the armed conflict.

Participants attending the restitution meeting in Bamenda, explained to media that the activity put forth by SNWOT is an energizer and has rekindled hope in them, despite the pain they feel which caused them to loose their voice on matters concerning women.

"I have been living in fear, children bored from a woman's womb have been killed, young men, husbands have been killed . I have been rendered childeless, I have become a widow. This meeting has encouraged us to play our role as women in Peace building, I pray that God will give us strength so that at the end Peace will be attained" Nai Juliana Nditcha.

"I am from Menchum division, I am happy about this serminar, I have learnt that women are the backbone to development. We need to wake up from sleep, i can tell my story because I am using this opportunity given to me by SNWOT. We pray for more opportunities like this to empower ourselves with knowledge".

Other sample opinions from the women in attendance;

"I didn't know women had to stand strong and fight for their rights while contributing to Peace building. I am grateful for the opportunity given to us by the Southwest/Northwest Women Task Force - SNWOT.

"We have been living in conflict for more than five years, we have not had opportunities to sit and discuss our problems and learn about Peace and how to contribute to Peace building. We thank the organizers and hope that as we go back to give back to out communities, we will have more of such meetings".

Free screening test for blood sugar and blood pressure was made available for women to take turns and be aware their status. This are some of the health problems these women go through listen to gunshots and hearing bad news as a result of the crisis.

The Regional Coordinator for SNWOT, NW believes that no woman should be left behind in the peace building process, reason why women in attendance are key actors from different communities in the 7 divisions that make up the Northwest region.

By Ndefru Melanie


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