"Living in this little creek has made people forget and abandoned us", says the V.P of GBHS #Mudeka, "we need this education for empowerment and development"
On June 19, Michel and Nancy of WFAC visited Mudeka for their usual community outreach and educational talks to youth and women's groups. Unlike the usual speaking to women, the visit this time had participation from men, youth, boys and elder, as well as women who had previously attended the May workshop along with some new faces who joined them for a first time.
Michel Bélanger-Roy, WFAC’s legal intern, opened the floor by talking about marriage and the law in Cameroon. The workshop was designed to inform married women of their rights and responsibilities. As Michel and Nancy stressed out, marriage can often protect women in vulnerable positions, but it is essential for women to know their rights in order to enforce them. He also pointed out that it is important to distinguish a marriage that is recognized by law, one that is not, and one that is only recognized by customary law. However, as he explained, whatever the situation you are in, there are many different ways to protect yourself from uncertainty. Some examples were given, such as registering property in your name, drafting a will or making a living together agreement.
Nancy Makeoh, WFAC’s community outreach coordinator, took over and gave a presentation on gender equality. After discussing the differences between gender and sex, she pointed out the many ways in which gender inequalities persist today in Cameroon, and the consequences of these inequalities on our lives. Drawing from various perspectives, she insisted on the many advantages of attaining gender equality for women and for society as a whole. Thus, she presented the social and economic advantages, and talked about the role of stereotypes in the evolution of gender equality. She also emphasized the role of education in achieving gender equality. Finally participants were invited to be part of the change themselves by teaching others around them on the advantages of gender equality.
This introduced Michel’s presentation about the importance of education. By various examples, Michel discussed with participants how education was closely linked to equality, employment, politics, economy, health and safety. Participants talked about their heroes and realized how education had played an important role in their accomplishments. Finally, Michel narrowed the topic down to the education of girls, and showed how education was a key to improve their lives, but also those of their families and communities.
The workshop ended with a discussion about the struggles of poor families to provide a good education to their children. A group picture was taken to immortalize this rewarding afternoon with the inspiring women of Mudeka.
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