Women in Cameroon are the bread winners of their families. They are farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, caregivers for their families.
Women have a great role to play in achieving sustainable development goals. Women and young girls, especially those in rural settings face a lot of challenges. Customary law in rural communities presents unique challenges in that sense. Women farm workers feed the country but their production labor is uncounted. Patriarchal societal structures only increase their troubles in villages. Women work the land but customary laws reserves exclusive land ownership to male family members. Widows are not entitled to any right and are at times driven away from their homes or abused after their husbands deaths. Due to poverty and the lack of financial means to educate children, young girls are often marginalized, sent to early marriages in rural areas of Cameroon. For most parents, early marriages are a solution for the girls and education is not so important for girls because they have to marry and be under the responsibility of a man in future.
The projects that can enable women’s empowerment are firstly in the area of education; encouraging education for children, especially young girls through the construction and equipment of classrooms, the training of teachers and educators, scholarship schemes for disadvantaged girls in in villages. Women are the first farmers and users of land in rural Africa. Environmental projects with women are important to enable women develop collective larger global influence on climate change. It is difficult for women to be autonomous in our communities if they are not economically independent. The projects can have an income generating component through the support of community gardens/farms, apiaries managed by women’s groups. While tackling climate change, that can enable them make financial informed choices and share their development financial options and experiences together as groups for economic growth and transformation.Women’s access to land, to socioeconomic rights, development finance and social entrepreneurship are essential to alleviate poverty in rural communities in Africa.
The education of girls, women empowerment, will help women especially secluded groups to achieve social, economic and structural transformation leading to the reduction of poverty among them through authentic self-sustaining human development initiatives. Turning the tide of poverty in our communities can only pass through the education and the empowerment of young girls and women. The empowerment of urban or rural women will only pass through the education of girls. Positive education, women empowerment, and leadership can impact the lives of women and young people and bring them up as useful members of society.