By Eric Tataw – Thursday March 7, 2019.
Women across the globe are expected Friday, March 8, 2019, to converge on various precincts to celebrate the International Women’s Day now in its 34th edition.
Celebrated on March 8 every year, it’s a pivotal socket fine-tuning advocacy for women’s rights, cultural and socio-political freedoms. It’s also a moment of reflection.
Unlike the previous years, this year’s celebrations in Cameroon would produce a caricature from which the International Community can ask questions.
In Cameroon, the country’s Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Marie Therese Abena Ondoa, in February of 2019 led a sports
From this gesture, Abena Ondoa meant to galvanize the women to provoke a good attendance at the main event. Observers now say the main cities might be flooded with the privileged minority working in top government jobs
What about the common woman? In the yesteryears, the fabric business, popularly called “Women Day Wrapper” sold out and tailors and seamstress had overflow clients with many burning midnight candles to catch up with hangovers.
However, it’s now a completely different scenario. In the two English-speaking regions of the North West and South West, there’s an armed conflict in which the majority of the Anglophones are asking for an Independent State called Ambazonia.
Anglophone militias have been battling regular Cameroon soldiers in a move they’ve called; Self-Defense. During this process, several persons have killed, others displaced, hundreds of houses torched, amongst others. Yet, the government has remained warlike.
Just recently, women of these two regions grouped under the banner of the South West and North West Women Taskforce say they wouldn’t take part in this year’s International Women’s Day stating that their proposals for an end to the deepening Anglophone crisis have gone unheeded.
Cameroon’s top female opposition political party leader, Edith Kah Walla of Cameroon’s People Party, CPP equally preached to Cameroonian women against this year’s event. In her own words, she said “We can’t be celebrating and feasting with all the agony in the country. I propose all women should on that day rather be dressed in black (not the usual wrapper) to show their disappointment and anger”
In the French-speaking regions, several women have also been jailed including Michèle Ndoki, a famous female Rights Lawyer for supporting a peaceful protest by Prof Maurice Kamto, Chair of Cameroon’s main opposition political party, Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM).
Kamto had challenged the results of the Presidential Elections at the country’s Constitutional Council after he considered himself the winner. He would later call for a peaceful protest before the regime opened fire at protesters, wounding some and arresting many others, including women.
Reporters of National Telegraph who went out, narrate the frustration of dealers in Women’s Day fabric. In the two English-speaking regions, Thursday, March 7, was observed as a
Businesses and movements were grounded and sales of the fabrics like the other days were at zero. In the French-speaking regions, our reporters visited several markets, including especially; Marché Acacia in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital.
She narrated that the fabrics were visibly displayed, concluding that no buyer came around for the longest time she stayed in the market. She also said the traders confirmed this year’s business has registered lowest sales ever, in which case, they blamed it on the armed conflict in the two English-speaking regions.
It’s almost obvious that over close to the entire country is vexed with the Biya regime and wants urgent change. In the two English-speaking Regions, they want Independence for Ambazonia.
On the other side of the frontier, they want Maurice Kamto for President. However, Biya got the army and the International Community has only been following up closely!