Research and Reports

Gender Equality in modern day Cameroon: between empowerment policies and the social representation of women

In the ranking of countries regarding gender inequality, the Republic of Cameroun ranks 141st among 189 countries, making it part of the lower ranks[i]. This rank is better understood when looking at the data collected on gender equality, especially considering the unstable political context of the country.  As can be seen from various datawomen are generally discriminated against in society, especially in the target areas of the sustainable development goals like education, health, economical rights, political rights and decision. Thus, the reports and numbers show that for example 32.5% of women over 25 years of age have some level of secondary education (against 39.2% for men). Meanwhile, whereas 39% of the national population lives below the poverty line, this rate rises to 51.5% for women, and 79.2% of them are underemployed. This economic gap is further demonstrated by the fact that despite women making up 71.6% of workers in the informal agricultural sector, only 1.6 % own a land title in their name. There is also a considerable gap in the political field, as on a national level the government has only 6% women and only 27.1% in parliament, while locally, women are reported to be largely excluded from decision making in their communities. Moreover, regarding gender-based violence, there are concerning numbers: 43.2% of women in union are confronted with domestic violence, 39.8% and 14.5% respectively face emotional and sexual violence, and nationally 20.1% of women were reported to have been forced to have sex for their first sexual relationship. Overall, 56.4% of women in union experienced at least one of these forms of violence[iii].

 

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