Women's Rights Protection: PEARL Foundation Encourages Rights Violation Victims To Shun Culture Of Silence

Family Photo Taken At The Workshop 

By Raymond Dingana

The rights of women especially Grassroots women have continued to suffer violations. This has been worsened by the armed conflict devastating lives in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon where armed groups are fighting to creat a state they call Ambazonia.

The violations are not only perpetrated by the warring parties but by partners in relationships, family members, acquaintance, amonsgt others.

During a one day capacity building workshop for female lawyers, theologians, journalists including some of their male counterparts to raise awareness on the Maputo protocol on Wednesday, organized by Pearl Foundation April 17th, it was realized that grassroots women suffer a lot because of the culture of silence, and lack resources to persue court cases against their violators.

Participants At The Workshop 

According to Equality Now, https://equalitynow.org/promoting_african_womens_rights/ The Maputo protocol is one of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (‘the Maputo Protocol’) was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003.

The Maputo Protocol Advances African Women’s Rights, guarantees extensive rights to African women and girls and includes progressive provisions on:

Harmful traditional practices, eg child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM),

Reproductive health and rights,

Roles in political processes,

Economic empowerment,

Ending violence against women.

As explains by Hawe Bouba, Freelance Journalist with Koode Radio International, it's not been a walk in the park for indigenous women who suffer rights violations on a daily basis.

"As indigenous women, we have more challenges than others. For example, there is this culture of silence called Pulaaku. That is where the problem of indigenous women is all coming from."

" A woman would just be violated and she would keep it to herself not knowing how to go about."

She said she would be talking to them in the language they understand best, and encourage them to kill that culture of silence, and speakout thereby denouncing perpetrators.

Hawe Bouba 

For women whose rights have been violated, and are still being trampled opon, the founder of Pearl Foundation, a not for profit organization, Nsono Josephine said there is good news.

"The good news is that the network that was created last year which we encouraged grassroots women to belong has 15 female lawyers, that are available to provide pro bono services to grassroots women."

" All we are asking is that they should  identify, and refer these cases to us ,and we are going to assist them get justice for little or no cost. Just come and you will have the services," said Nsono Josephine.

Nsono Josephine added that the come together was to raise awareness on the Maputo protocol so that vulnerable women can make good use of these instruments in a law courts where constitutional laws are really not helping enough.

"We were pushed to organize this workshop on different articles of the Maputo protocol that pattens to the protection of women against violence, to women in destress, and women who are suffering various forms of violence."

"The main objective is to increase women's participation in development interventions from a perspective that is informed by their rights, and by their full potential as women,"

explained Nsono.

She also indicated that Pearl Foundation's main expectation is to raise a network of women leaders from the grassroots, identifying cases and referring them through female theologians to get to female lawyers who would provide for them pro bono services. 

Nsono Josephine, Founder Of PEARL Foundation 

They can equally refer these cases through Pearl Foundation or any organization that they have so that the cases can reach female lawyers who are there to provide access to justice, Nsono told drayinfos.

"The women leaders were carefully selected to go back to their various communities, and create the awareness at that level, and female journalists are expected to disseminate the information to the wider population."

She also called on the authorities to ensure that the Maputo protocol is implemented given that most of the cases they have struggled with in court haven't been successful.

"There are times that justice lies in the hands of the preciding judge, and there are times that the courts would rule in favor of the customary court saying the issues are family related. It's a shame that 18 years after the government of Cameroon signed and ratified the Maputo protocol, implemention still remains an issue. There is no will to domesticate provisions of the Maputo protocol. Even local instruments are not well mastered by officials."

Nsono said if government was intentional, it would decentralized to these local authorities and they would be able to implement the Maputo protocol at their level.

Protection and Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Persons  PEARL Foundation is a Non Governmental Organization committed to the safety and well-being of every child.

They are uncompromising in their purpose to protect children and young people from harm. 

They work together with other organizations, from a range of different fields of work to achieve their mission.


For any inquiries, WhatsApp us on +237676238865


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