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Women's Day Fabric in Cameroon: What IWD 2012 holds for us.

I have been wondering!

Every single Women's Day in Cameroon comes with a Women's Day fabric, known in local parlance as Women's Day wrapper. If you happen to pass around tailors/seamstress' workshops during this period you will understand what I am talking about. This year the fabric is all about two colors, two choices to make; the pink fabric that so many women are dying to have, and the blue fabric that is admired by a few women. LAKING, the famous fabric dealer in Cameroon, is working overtime just to meet with women's demand of the Women's Day fabric. The general cry of this year is that the demand of the pink fabric is more than the supply. Women are frustrated with the situation. A few traders who have the fabric have increased the price by at least 20%.

Do you know what baffles me?

Up till now I don't understand the logic behind the every-year women's day fabric in Cameroon. The production of this fabric has been monopolized. Rights of production has been given to one company. What i cannot tell is whether this is a permanent contract. Most interestingly, women have focused more on acquiring the fabric than achieving equality and empowerment.Women's day has become more like a celebration of the fabric rather than an awareness campaign. If you happen to stand around women who are talking about women's day, then listen carefully, they are obviously talking about the price of the fabric, the design they are going to stitch their fabric, the quality of the fabric, future productions and so on. Some women are even wondering aloud like i am doing, they are worried about the reason behind the every year production of the fabric. Guys, I am perplexed.

Now, the fabric production company has carried the day, it has empowered itself more than the women whom the day is focused on. LOL. Is it that the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the family is not doing her job well? Is it that the state makes decisions for the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family? Is it that women have not fully understood what this day is all about? Or is it that our nation is concerned about using this day to raise income for the state budget? A thousand questions in my head. The bottom line is that the significance of this day has been misconstrued by both the state and the women themselves.

The theme for this year's Women's day in Cameroon goes thus: "Empower Rural Women: End Hunger and Poverty." I am just so worried about these paper-and-pen themes. Themes that are coined just for the mere fact that there must be a theme. How are we empowering this poor rural woman when we expect her to purchase the fabric every year with her meager income? How do we empower them when we do not fight for their agricultural rights? With all these 'whys' are we going to achieve the objective of theme "End Hunger and Poverty?"

We need help as nations, and as individual.

Lets spread the message before the fabric.

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Comments

Leina's picture

Good one Nakinti, We need

Good one Nakinti,
We need more women like you in Cameroon.The essence of the day has been tilted so much on vain celebration at the expense of a meaningful message for the women.How many of the women know the theme for this year?Why so much emphasis on fabric production and why produce a different fabric every year?How does the sale of fabric empower women?I think the whole concept of women`s day celebration in Cameroon needs some rethinking and restructuring.In my opinion the women`s day celebration in Cameroon instead helps to belittle the women especially when they use the opportunity to exhibit loose morals through excesses like drunkeness.The women need voices like yours and education.Thank you for being part of this community.
Love
Leina

Nakinti's picture

Ah Leina!

My dear Leina,
I am always so eager to read your comments. They carry with them a sense reasoning, and critical analysis. You seem to understand a lot about women and gender, keep it up. Our communities also need a voice like yours to help change patriarchally constructed mentalities and societies. Thanks again for the comments, u inspire me.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

jadefrank's picture

in search of the pink fabric

Dear Nakinti,

I love your writing, and have learned so much from you in your two pieces for IWD. Your writing leaves me thinking long into the night, about Women's Day in Cameroon, about the paradox of women celebrating while at the same token are beaten by their husbands, and how the frenzy for buying the lucrative pink fabric is skewing the meaning of the day for what women need to enjoy equality, to live free from violence, and to realize their own visions and dreams for themselves, their children, for their communities. Thank you Nakinti for giving us this gift - this glimpse into your world and into your mind, and celebrating with us this International Women's Day as we commemorate women. You inspire me!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade

Nakinti's picture

Dear jade, Thank you so much

Dear jade,
Thank you so much for those words of encouragement. You will obviously learn so many things about women's day in cameroon from me, i promise. You are also going to learn so much about other things that work at the disadvantage of women in cameroon. I am determined to use my voice to effect change.
JADE! A very happy Women's Day to you. Tomorrow,
I will be addressing ( on behalf of the Delegate of Women's Empowerment and the Family North West Region of Cameroon), the Women of Bali, a community sustained by rural women in the North West Region of Cameroon. I am going to use my voice very strongly to educate women on the importance of this day. Its going to be fun. So, join me on the bridge to fight for the Rights of the Women of Cameroon.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Peter_F's picture

I can understand this from

I can understand this from the pic. They are wearing a common outfit in two colors. I would like to know the fabric you did choose for that dress.
Regards,
Peter - Fire Retardant Nonwoven Fabric Manufacturers.

Nakinti's picture

Nice question!

Dear Peter,
I didn't choose any.
I participated in the celebrations though.
This year's celebrations however saw me wearing the pink fabric.
Thanks very much for reading and responding to my post.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Peter_F's picture

Dear Nakinti, There are few

Dear Nakinti,

There are few pinks in the pic and hope you are one of them. The remaining might be your friends or neighbors. I wish you all the endeavors of future festivals too. :)

Regards,

Peter - Nonwovens

Nakinti's picture

Thanks Peter!

Dear Peter,
Thanks for stopping by to read my post.
Thanks for the best wishes...I appreciate.
Wish to the best in all your endeavors as well.

Regards,

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

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