Skip to content

Cameroonian Women Want a Seat at the Peace Table

In Cameroon, hundreds of women are protesting what they say is their underrepresentation in the country’s efforts at peace, despite making up more than half the population. Women say they are most affected by the separatist conflict in Cameroon’s western regions as well as by Boko Haram terrorism on the border with Nigeria. In a song now referred to as their anthem, Cameroonian women ask to be given a greater opportunity to contribute to peacemaking and development. The women chanted the song several times Tuesday in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, as part of activities connected to the United Nations International Day of Peace, observed on September 21. The government says similar protests took place in the towns of Bamenda, Buea and Maroua. The conflict, which began in 2017, has claimed more than 3,300 lives and displaced over 750,000 people according to the U.N. Meanwhile, the Boko Haram conflict, which started 13 years ago in northeast Nigeria, has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced two million across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The Cameroonian government says it has taken note of the women’s plight but did not explain how it intends to address the issue.