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A Way Out!

A Way Out
There are thousands of women and young girls in Cameroon today whose destinies are being jeopardized by the mere fact that they are women and therefore are regarded as only suitable for child bearing, upbringing and domestic activities. Sadly, no matter the attributes they may possess they don`t dare to come out of the backyard for fear of being molested by adherents of such believes who unfortunately are ‘’culturally correct’’, especially in the African context. If we cannot change culture, we can change people. The destinies of these women are crying for help and I believe there is a way out. I have listed some challenges faced by women in my country and what can be done to avert them. I would be glad to have you partner with me through sharing your ideas and why not joining me in seeking concrete solutions.
Although the idea of keeping women for domestic chores only is gradually dying out in Cameroon ,there exists millions of young girls whose education have been tampered with by teenage pregnancies ,early marriages, culture and poor family background. Some of these girls are forced to learn a trade, usually tailoring or hairdressing, skills they end up grasping but have no finances to establish a business after wards. Others spend their entire youth learning no skill and end up either as farmers, petit traders and worst of all prostitutes. It would be wise to identify such women, and give them a sense of direction and hope by helping them have, education, learning a trade, or establishing a business
Women, who are victims of early marriages, end up in psychological torture as they find themselves in some kind of life imprisonment. It is worst when the husband is an abuser. One of them told me her greatest fear during the day is what her night is going to be like, if her husband intends to make love with her. She does nothing but cooks and keeps the house and children clean. She has never been to school and does not think of learning a trade or doing business. She says nothing would ever make her happy or feel different so far as she remains married to her husband. I have been trying to let her see the need of attending adult literacy classes and she is gradually coming to terms with me. I see in her an intellect when I chat with her, she is an intelligent illiterate, my goal is to see her write a sentence by this time next year and I know it is possible.
Women, who are battered by their spouses, need help to break silence which has for a long time been the role of the game in such homes. The story of most battered women has remained untold for fear of further molestation. Using the media, by giving out secret numbers which these women can call and meet with counselors in times of distress could be a way out. Medical care could also be offered to those who are injured. I share in many of their stories via phone calls every day, but can only offer little bits of advice and spiritual help through prayers to those who share my religious views. I don`t think this is sufficient; I’m burning for more concrete solutions. I`ve tried telling some about World Pulse, but all I get in response is ‘’I can`t use the computer’’ or ‘’I can`t write.
Women without the fruit of the womb, suffer untold depression in their marital homes and society at large. Africans attach a lot of importance to child bearing. Someone needs to bring hope to the lives of such women by enlightening them on the different causes and solutions to sterility through seminars with health experts .
There are many young girls and women on the streets who are there because they believe that is the best they can be, others are there because they have no financial support. A closer interaction with them would permit an understanding of their problem and therefore give room for a solution. I have made friends with five of such girls, and discovered, if they are economically empowered, they would abandon street life. After about three months of counseling, gave three of them 5000FCFA ( 10 US Dollars)each in March, and encouraged them to try a petit business, and two of them have abandoned prostitution for petit trading, though one of them is still adamant, I believe with time and more efforts there is hope.
I intend to create a media center where all of these issues would be investigated and reported, so as to expose them to a wider world. This would be a strong weapon to break the culture of silence. Documentaries and reports, both audio and video would be produced and broadcast free of charge online and in radio and TV stations nationwide. Through this center a women`s empowerment unit would be created where women whose stories are investigated and reported, would be followed up for solutions to their problems I would like to liaise with women who are willing to partner with me to realize this dream. Donation of equipments would be highly appreciated.


Farona's picture

Leina ! Thank you for writing

Leina !
Thank you for writing this piece. I love the term 'intelligent illiterate' - I could feel what you are trying to imply by that. I met many such women and it awes me how, despite so much intelligence and kindness they are afraid. :(
You highlighted some very important issues. Yes, 'culturally correct' many think they are - but who decides what's our culture? It's time for women to redefine these cultural norms.

Best Wishs

Leina's picture

Yea Farona womwn really need

Yea Farona womwn really need to redefine these cultural norms.Please lets share ideas on how to overcome these challenges.
Kind Regards

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