Local Steering Committee for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 within Bamenda II Municipality

It is the first ever local steering committee for the localization of the UNSCR 1325 within the Bamenda II Municipality.

Poor implementation of the legal provisions for land ownership which is further compounded by sociocultural barriers for women and girls to inherit or own land, was one of the Impediments to Societal Growth considered by the Local Steering Committee as a driver of conflict in their municipality.

Following the Localization Workshop for the localization of UNSCR1325 which held in September 2023, setting up a local steering committee composed of local experts to drive the process within the municipality was the next step.

During an institution and induction meeting on 9th of November 2023 organized by Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) and Common Action for Gender Development (COMAGEND), funded by the United States Secretary Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI), the Local Steering committee for Bamenda II Municipality came up with a RoadMap for the localization of UN security council Resolution 1325.

Featuring on this document were pressing gender issues affecting women and girls within the municipality, actors concerned with the issues as well as conversations on how to resolve the issues. The local steering committee members were guided by the four pillars of the UNSCR 1325 (WPS Agenda), the WPS NAP for Cameroon, the Council Development plan and other existing frameworks.

These consultations of existing literature for example on the Poor implementation of the provisions of land ownership and sociocultural barriers in land ownership for women and girls provided some interesting data.

According to the findings of a research on the Procedure of land Titling in Cameroon by NWADO. "Women in Northwest hold only 0.1% of Registered Land". Statistics like this during the discussions of the Local steering Committee members, further justified their choice on what to include in the road map.

Their deliberations revealed that Land which is a widely used as collateral to obtain loans from Micro Finance institutions is not commonly owned by Women due to Sociocultural barriers.

Most of these women cannot contract loans to grow their Economic activities. This economic dependence now increases Women’s vulnerability to violence which justifies the ever increasing instances of intimate partner violence and more victims of GBV.

Understanding that GNWP’s Localization strategy which is the guiding framework for this process, is a bottom-top approach to the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Speaking with GNWP’ Programs Manager for Africa Mme
Ruth Abunaw Besong who was Present, she said:

"One of our aims is to build a network of community focused and community oriented individuals who are keen and very passionate about community development while taking into consideration the important role that women play, so mainstreaming gender effectively within their local policy within their local areas."

This Session which took place at the Bamenda II council premises saw the attendance of Leaders of Women’s Rights Organizations, Traditional Councilors, Religious leaders, Local Authorities and Youth leaders .
Ndum Charlotte Vice President Cameroon National Youth Council for the North West Region and a Member of the Steering Committee expresses her enthusiasm for the process:

"I foresee profound benefits for women and young girls. Such a roadmap will offer enhanced access to local decision-making spaces, improve protection from gender-based violence, foster leadership development, promote educational opportunities, and increase economic participation."

Inhabitants of Bamenda II who have had some knowledge on WPS agenda hope to see it successful within Bamenda II Municipality.
According to Lum Evi Claire Achem, Programs manager COMAGEND Cameroon:

"A successful implementation of the WPS agenda within the Bamenda II Municipality would mean, Local actors and community members understand and situate themselves within the WPS agenda as well as design a RoadMap for the implementation of the WPS resolution and its adopted NAP by designing, adopting and implementing Local action plans to address gender issues ."

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