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Promoting Women's Economic Rights in Cameroon - Pelagietheres F. Shutang et al

The panel discussion took place on Friday the 29th of April 2022 at the Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation in Yaounde on the theme “Challenges Faced by Women in Ascending Leadership Positions in Cameroon”. It was facilitated by the staff of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation.

The event was aimed at providing a platform for high-level experts to discuss the need to promote women’s access to decision-making positions to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Cameroon. The main panelists were;

HE Ama Tutu Muna Member of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism and President of the working Group on Bilingualism , Ndifor Caroline, Country Lead and Development Manager, British Council, Yaounde Cameroon, Dr Ebenezer Lemven Wirba, Price Inspector at the Ministry of Trade and Commerce Lecturer at Institut Universitaire Catholique Sainte Thérèse de Yaounde,

Gladys Shang Viban, Former Cultural Affairs Specialist at the US Embassy Yaounde - Cameroon and Gender Development Consultant, and Fri Asanga, the Chief Executive Officer Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation.

The event was open to policy makers, women led organizations, women leaders, youth leaders and the general public. The various participants were welcomed and registered by the Lenora Foretia Foundation staff and were ushered to the hall. Once in the hall the participants were given the opportunity to exchange, communicate and network with each other. Later on a brief opening remark from Dr. Kibu Odette marked the beginning of the panel discussion facilitated by Mme Fri Asanga. As an introduction to this panel discussion we had an outline of some of the important and impactful women leaders in Africa.

The main points made were as follows: women empowerment is not all about finances . The first way to empower oneself is to have a good mastery of oneself. Also, women need to identify what they are good at and then strategize. “Prosperity and abundance lies in our thoughts through the force of attraction” says Ama Tutu. Most importantly, leadership is not about your gender, it's about your mindset. Its about who you are and what your are bringing to the table. Crying out loud that we women are being discriminated upon is not enough; we are supposed to cry out against discrimination only when we are empowered and qualified for the desired position.

Note should be taken that leadership is not all about being in front; you can as well lead from behind by empowering the people in leadership towards taking the right decisions. An exemplary leader’s impact is felt in their absence, not their presence.

During the panel discussion, the following recommendations were made by the panelists:

1.There’s the need to develop strong partnerships between policy makers and civil society organizations in order to leverage all opportunities to empower women economically.

2.Given the enormous challenges women face today, stakeholders should carry out concrete activities that will help women move from point A to B.

3.Civil society organizations should play critical roles in developing outcomes and strategies for women to ascend leadership positions. =p

Report by:

-Pelagietheres Fenui Shutang

-Poutum Ashley

-Ayimbombi Danie-Ashley

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