By Solomon Tembang
The Chief Executive Officer of the Luther King Memorial Foundation, LUKMEF, Tanyi Christian, has said the first against gender-based violence is moving in the positive direction.
He was speaking in Limbe on Friday 9 June 2017 during a workshop to mark the evaluation and closing ceremony of a LUKMEF/EU project dubbed “making gender-based violence history in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon”. The event brought together stakeholders of the project.
While thanking the European Union for enabling LUKMEF to run the project, Tanyu Christian said it has not been easy, adding that the difficulties justify the fact that more has to be done. He continued that based on what has been achieved, they thought that they may find gaps, reasons why the stakeholders were brought together to try to identify such gaps.
The LUKMEF CEO used the opportunity to thank the European Union for funding the project and other partners who made running the project possible.
Talking on the issue of women, Tanyi Christian said “any nation that doesn’t build its development on women is trudging a very bad road and needs to do a rethink”.
On her part, the Executive Director of a partner organisation in the project, REACHOUT, Esther Omam, said it was good working with the communities who are stepping stones towards addressing core issues related to gender-based violence. She said the evaluation workshop was to look at how to do it better while hoping for a society free of gender-based violence.
Meanwhile, a representative of the European Union delegation in Cameroon, Ann-Charlotte Sallmann, highlighted the EU’s commitment at promoting efforts towards empowering women and eliminating violence against them.
It would be recalled that the two-year project dubbed “making gender-based violence history in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon” was focused on taking action against gender-based violence in communities and schools.
In a presentation, Tanyi Christian noted that throughout the project, LUKMEF and REACHOUT implementation strategy was centered on responding to four questions; “how can communities and their traditional structures take actions to prevent GVB?; how can communities and their structures take actions to mitigate the impact of GBV on survivors?; how can communities and their structures take actions to bring to justice perpetrators of GBV?; and how can communities and their structures take actions to hold elected officials to develop and/or implement policies that eliminate GBV?”
The LUKMEF CEO thus disclosed that the project focused on raising awareness and preventing violence from occurring, building community engagement and support by empowering traditional authorities and specific community committees, mitigating the impact of violence on the victim and litigating the cases of violence to give closure to the victims.
A number of recommendations were reached including the fact that stakeholders working to end GBV should establish a coordination and collaboration mechanism, union of traditional leaders and Queen Mothers should be empowered, other development actors should begin mainstreaming elimination of GBV in all development programmes among others.
It was also arrived at the fact that the efforts to end GBV will be scaled up, for the next three years, to other regions of the country (to now include North West, South West, Littoral, East, Centre) while developing a more holistic, participative and inclusive approach to eliminating GBV.