Woman eh – Girl power !
By Comfort Mussa
Have you ever wondered about what young girls in Cameroon have to say about Violence against Women and girls? I have.
I was more than happy when my friend & CEO of Gender Danger, Chi Yvonne Leina told me that this year for IWD commemoration in Cameroon, they’d organize an essay contest for young girls on the subject of violence against women.
I was honored to have been selected as a member of the jury for this premiere edition of the essay contest. On March 5, 2014, 12 high school girls from 6 high schools in Bamenda, Cameroon, showed up for the essay contest.
All 12 girls had different experiences and encounters with violence against women. Their depth of knowledge on the issues impressed me as well as other members of the jury. Their narratives about the different experiences with VAW brought tears to my eyes. For example,one of the contestants told us that she had never been raped but she feels like a victim of rape following an incident where her friend was raped and she could not help.
Like most Cameroonian girls, the contestants were all too familiar with stories about violence against women; scenes of wife battery, obnoxious widowhood practices, breast ironing, rape etc
I could tell from their scripts and the passion with which they spoke against Violence against women that, indeed, a new generation of women leaders in Cameroon, with zero tolerance to violence against women was incubating!
All the contestants are champions ! According to Chi Yvonne, the contestants will receive further training and mentorship from Gender Danger partners.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Gender Danger Essay writing contest on VAW
Ms Peace Eberechukwu, 17, of Nigerian origin is the winner of the first Prize for the Gender Danger essay writing contest on Violence against Women. She made her mark above 11 other High School girls in Bamenda,North West Region of Cameroon.The Upper Sixth Arts student of the Presbyterian Secondary School Mankon, aspires to become a lawyer who will fight for women`s rights in future. She got a cash prize of 200USD
18 year Old Ms Relindis Fon of GBHS Bamenda,is recipient of the second prize for Gender Danger ‘s essay contest for high school girls. Ms Relindis wishes to be a journalist in future. She received a cash prize of 100 USD
19 year old Cynthia Ngang Wakuna of GBHS Down Town Bamenda, won the third Prize. She wishes to be the founder of an NGO for women`s rights and an orphanage. She received a cash prize of 50USD