UN Women Cameroon rolls out its Gendered Response Plan to COVID 19 Session with Women Market Sellers Association

This pandemic is having devastating social and economic consequences on women and girls, especially those in the informal sector and markets.

On April 21st, UN Women Cameroon pursued the rollout of its Gendered Response Plan to COVID 19 with sensitization sessions of actors representing women from the informal sector ASBY (Association of BAYAM SALAM), with the participation of Ahmet Secka Chief UN Medical Doctor and Ms. Bekono, Director at the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family.

Women from the informal sector created ASBY in 2004, today it has a national influence with branches in all ten regions of the country, all districts, several markets, and villages. ASBY counts more than three million active members and aims to bring together all the actors involved in the production and marketing networks of agricultural goods. It seeks to improve the living and health conditions of women in the informal sector through awareness-raising, including in HIV / AIDS, malaria, cancer, STDs, and today COVID.

The objective of the session was to provide quality information on COVID 19 prevention and to recommend barrier measures to face the current pandemic and halt the spread in the communities. Towards the end, the participants were provided with hygiene kits. 

In her remarks, Ms. Hind Jalal, head of UN Women, highlighted that this pandemic is having devastating social and economic consequences on women and girls, especially those in the informal sector and markets. She commended the critical role of ASBY, as a significant player in the country with women representing up to 80% of the agricultural workforce. She called on Ms. Mbala, to spread the  information throughout her network to protect women in the markets and their families.

Dr. Ahmet Secka, UN Chief Medical Doctor, sensitized and built awareness on the transmission of the virus as well as the barriers measures to limit its spread, including, how to use face masks correctly, and the importance of handwashing. The Q&A session allowed the participants to get quality information from the UN Doctor who responded to the numerous questions and corrected several misunderstandings about the virus transmission. 

Ms. Bekono Director at the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family ensured the Association of the continuous support of the Government, particularly during this hard time of the pandemic.

The session was closed by a ceremony of distribution of gender-sensitive hygiene kits consisting of handwashing buckets, soap, hydro-alcoholic gels, aprons, and reusable sanitary pads.

 

UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women