Action for Development and Empowerment at the Front-Line against GBV
Actions for Development and Empowerment (ADE) this year joined the rest of the world and civil society organizations in commemorating the 2020 16 days of activism to end Gender Based Violence (GBV). The Yaounde based civil society group took action in the North West Center and Far North regions of the country in a sensitization tour against GBV with the main message #EndRapeNow had as objective to engage students in the campaign to end rape within the school environment
The sensitization tour began on the 24th of November 2020 reached out to 8 schools which according to Dr Beyinda Manuella health expert and member of ADE recorded a great satisfaction as it saw the breaking of norms and silence on issues of GBV and sexual conversation. Dr Manuella said the school children whom she considers as the future of the country pledged to continue the discussions in their various homes and schools, which contributes towards achieving the objectives of the campaign tour and guarantees a sustainable conversation on issues of GBV and rape in particular
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
This year, celebrations over the world are taking place under the theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”As the world retreated inside homes due to the lock-down measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women. “Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic,” stated the UN Secretary-General’s report, “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity:
Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19”.ADE says there has been a significant increase in the number of rape and other Gender Based Violence related cases in Cameroon.
This calls for greater attention on state and civil society institutions to reunite efforts towards an effective GBV responds amidst the global health pandemic especially on raising awareness within communities and taking actions to end impunity against perpetrators of GBV.