UNFPA Cameroon strives to achieve gender equality by bridging the digital divide
04 April 2023
Digital inclusion is now embedded in the quest for Gender equality to bridge the digital divide.
UNFPA Cameroon joined the United Nations System, the Cameroon Government, Civil Society Organisations & the International Community in commemorating the International Women's Day 2023 under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
Dr. Justin Koffi, UNFPA Resident Representative, in his capacity as UN Cameroon Resident Coordinator a.i. led UN team through a week long set of activities aimed at promoting both women’s rights & digital inclusion for all in Cameroon. This included, among others, a sports walk, a mini-football tournament, a townhall, the launching of the International Fair for the African Woman, a conference and the official march-past.
Digital inclusion is now embedded in the quest for Gender equality to bridge the digital divide. UNFPA Cameroon staff advocated & sensitised the women, men & girls in our various duty stations of Maroua, Douala, Bamenda,Bertoua and Yaounde to promote a violence free & an inclusive digital world.
According to Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director, in her official statement “The exclusion of women and girls in technology is perpetuated through violence and discrimination.”
In this light, UNFPA staff participated in a set of conferences organised at the University of Yaounde 1 by the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family alongside the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to advocate for more women to make use of digital space for their empowerment. This brought together the two ministers involved, UN Representatives, University lecturers and students.
Other activities carried out ahead of the celebration included a conference organised by UNFPA in partnership with the Littoral Regional Delegation of Women Empowerment and the Family. Discussions were on the theme "Digitalisation and GBV" and brought together activists in the Tech and GBV spaces. Discussions enlightened particpants on the risks of online violence to which women are exposed in the digitalspace as an obstacle to them fully and freely navigating and harnessing its advantages. This was also an opportunity to reflect on possible solutions to this situation. A similar talk was held in Bamenda, North West Region, with Internally Displaced, vulnerable and GBV survivor women in the Region. This was aimed at having them reflect on women’s empowerment towards action & transformation in their communities.
On the other hand, the UNFPA team in Buea, in collaboration with WFP, ran a capacity building workshop with women on the use of digital platforms to combat technology-facilitated GBV and disseminate gender-responsive communications. The participants were also taught how to better leverage those platforms to foster their socioeconomic empowerment by engaging in income-generating activities through the digital marketing of farm products.
In Maroua, for example, hundreds of women and men turned out to express their commitment to promote women's rights and dignity in the course of a sports walk in the streets of Maroua as part of the commemoration activities ahead of the International Women's Day. Participants included leaders of women-led organizations supported by UNFPA as well as UNFPA staff.
This nation-wide interventions attested of UNFPA's affective presence in the country and the existing collaboration with the various administrations on ground for the development and provision of GBV prevention and response mechanisms. These include: psycho-social support, the distribution of dignity and hygiene kits and cash transfer.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the Cameroonian Women.
At UNFPA, we believe in Positive Masculinity, Women Empowerment, Women In Technology and Ending GBV online.