BY NDUMBE BELL JOSEPH GASTON IN DOUALA
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has called for stronger collaboration with the media to achieve its mission of defending women’s rights, promoting their inclusion at all levels in the process of consolidating peace, preventing conflicts andthe violence of women and girls in conflict-prone regions of Cameroon.
WILPF, in the presence of the Regional Delegate for Women Affairs and Family in the Littoral region, was concerting with the media on the theme of preventing violence and the promotion of peace in Cameroon, to mark the just ended commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of resolution 1325 of the United Nations security council, last Tuesday October 31 in Douala.
The Chair of the Board of Directors Nathalie Wokam Foko who doubles as the new President of WILPF Cameroon, recounted a brief history of the resolution 1325 and the on-going conflicts in the World where Cameroon is not an exception. This is accompanied by destruction and violence consequently leading to enormous loss of lives and property, homelessness and displacement with women mostly paying a very high price whether in the East, North, women S.W. and N. West in an environment dominated by patriarchal influences and the high cost of living. In 2018, a partnership was signed between the media men and women to play a role at the election process. All these activities are being backed by legal documents that have evolved since October 31, 2000 to be the bedrock in 2017, for the inclusion of women through the National action Plan to take decisions on issues that directly affects their well-being and peace generally.
The Regional Delegate for thePromotion of Women Affairs and Family said it was an honour for her to be present. She appreciated the efforts of WILPF and the media for their engagement to reduce the rate of violence on women and girls in conflict areas and the promotion of peace and freedom not only in conflict areas and in society in general, in brief.
The International President of WILPF, Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo explained that among the many conflicts in the world today the negative impact touches on everyone but it is more impacting on women. That is why the United Nations through the women pressure groups decided to create resolution 1325 so that women could have more representation and participation on the negotiation table. The many resolutions following the National Action Plan, in all the countries including Cameroon. This is the barometer used to implement Resolution 1325.
The first plan of action ended in 2020 an now a second action plan is to continue implementing resolution 1325 of the United Nations. After an evaluation exercise in March 2021, the results of the study proved that in brief, the first National Action plan failed to achieve peace despite all the efforts put in by stakeholders. Instead there was a resurgence of violence. To set up the second generation National Action Plan, WILPF intends to eliminate the influence of negative masculinity before bringing in the participation of men and boys to assist WILPF partners and work together with women to mobilise for peace, international President Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo commented among others.
The concept of positive masculinity was explained by Guy Feugap who coordinated the project. The weakness of the implementation of Resolution 1325 was identified to be weak firstly because nothing can be done to actors on default when not implemented. The words used in their correspondence should be stronger. These were some of the observations made at the conclusion of the event.
The international President Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo or WILPF, after their chronological presentation expected the media practitioners to have better and detailed understanding on resolution 1325.
Some of the other recommendations arrived at were that stronger action words should be used to address defaulters of peace or perpetrators of violence against mostly women. WILPF should continue the humanitarian role of assisting displaced, homeless and those who lost property with basic needs.
Media practioners urged WILPF to reinforce their communication services. They unanimously encouraged the creation of a common whatsapp page to beef up exchange of ideas and information to help WILPF among others.Even the circulation of illegal arms can be checked by WILPF said an insider.
WILPF has advocated to the adoption of the United Nations security council resolution 1325, set up a women’s situation room for peaceful elections in Cameroon. The contributing to the improvement of human rights, through the universal periodic review and so on. Also included was the participation of Shane Gauthrie, a member of the international peace brigade from Australia.