More than 200 women in Bamenda have taken to the streets to march in
protest against what they refer to as the increasing phenomenon of
This was the major focus of a march from Finance Junction
to Commercial Avenue organised by Light Africa, a Bamenda based NGO in
collaboration with the North West Regional Delegation of Women’s
Empowerment and the Family.
According to the president of Light
Africa, Fortung Hotensia Ngang, rape is a major problem because any
woman who has ever been raped loses her dignity and is haunted by it
throughout her life.
This rape, she maintained, varies in forms. Some are flagrant rape
where a man uses force to have sex to others are a situation where a
girl is forced by her parents to have sex with someone she does not
like. There are also cases where women and girls surrender themselves
to men because they want to be employed or girls who care for homes and
their masters impose sex on them.
All these, she insisted
happen because women have been exposed to poverty and do not have the
means to be independent, thus the action to march against rape would
raise awareness on the need for women to empower themselves and also
reduce the risk of rape. She also warned rapists to know that their
actions are criminal.
The Regional Delegate for Women
Empowerment and The Family, Judith Ngweh Abong, revealed that rape is
something that is very recurrent in society and because the victims are
always too shy to expose their assailants, the perpetrators keep on
committing the crime.
This, she regretted, has led to an increase
in rape cases, reason why the women came out to draw the attention of
the public to the damaging consequences of the phenomenon.
continued that a recent study carried out by the German Technical
Cooperation, GTZ, revealed that rape is on the increase and something
has to be done.
Beyond combating rape, the Regional Delegate
pointed out the necessity to fight other forms of exploitation of women
amongst which are incest, trafficking and other form s of violence.
Ngweh Abong also explained that the march against rape will culminate
in the celebration of the pan African women’s day on 31 July 2009.The
march will be followed by mass marriages on Thursday 30 July as part of
efforts to promote family wellbeing.
Also a round table discussion to mark the day will harp on the theme “combating the exploitation of women and girls”.