A Global Youth Ambassador from Cameroon tells how a campaign is addressing barriers faced by disadvantaged girls and women.
From the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 to Human Rights Day on December 10, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
The numbers are staggering. According to the United Nations, more than one in three women worldwide have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual abuse.
This year the overarching theme - “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls” - reflects the core principle of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities. Buildings and landmarks will be lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the issue of violence against women and girls.
A press conference was held in Cameroon to launch this event by the UN Resident Coordinator and the Resident Representative UN Women for Cameroon.
I was lucky to attend these events in my capacity as HeForShe Ambassador, a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld's A World At School movement and as National President of Cameroon Active Youth Association (CAYA).
To mark the event, the UN Resident Coordinator has set up call centres and gender desks in police stations, where women who have experienced violence can visit. Cohesion spaces to provide holistic medical kits and psychosocial support to survivors have also been established.
As well as this, legal assistance has improved for survivors of violence. Through the UN-Cameroon collaboration, police and legal practitioners have been trained on the promotion and protection of women’s rights.
Resident Representative of the UN Women, Adama Moussa, said the campaign in Cameroon will focus on inclusive programmes and policies that address barriers faced by disadvantaged groups of women.
They will advocate for the government to focus attention on the most underserved groups of women and girls, as well as call for adequate financial commitments to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
November 25 was a day to reflect on how to end this violence and assist the victims. We visited three different universities to raise awareness about the importance of being an advocate for gender equality and how much respect these roles have.
We celebrated World Aids Day on December 1 and International Volunteer Day, which is today. During these two days we sensitised and held educational talks with students, women and bike riders.