Harnessing Men’s Involvement for Widows’ Wellbeing and Inclusion in Our Communities.

WIDOWHOOD IN CAMEROON

According to Global Fund For Widows 2020, Cameroon has long been home to some of the most pervasive and culturally entrenched widow-specific harmful traditional practices in the world. Reports of disinheritance, discrimination and other harmful traditional practices targeting widows remain ubiquitous across Cameroon, especially in rural regions. In July 2020, widows across Western Cameroon staged protests in objection to these practices. While the protests failed to capture significant international attention, they drew sharp reactions within the region. Several local public figures spoke out against the protests, saying that the practices are necessary to protect widows from evil spirits. According to the Global Fund for Widows’ local implementing partner, an NGO working in Western Cameroon (exact identity withheld for personal safety), these traditional practices continue to occur in most widowhood instances.

These rituals often include restricting a widow’s hygiene, and battery, making the widow sleep on the floor with her husband’s corpse, and making a widow eat off a single plate with other widows. The just concluded Nigeria TAWS virtual Briefing organised by The Africa Widow Summit, The Executive Director emphasised the need to promote men’s involvement in addressing the well-being of widows.

In commemoration of the world women’s Day Mike Yanou Foundation is organising a webinar session sponsored by the African Widow Summit. This webinar aims to harness Men’s Involvement for Widows’ Wellbeing and Inclusion in Our Communities.

Objective 1::The first objective of the webinar session is to raise awareness and enhance understanding of the importance of men’s involvement in addressing widows’ needs in Cameroon. This objective aims to educate participants about the challenges widows’ face, the benefits of men’s engagement, and their role in promoting widows’ empowerment and gender equality.

Objective 2: The second objective is to share successful strategies and best practices that have effectively promoted men’s involvement in supporting widows in Cameroon. The session will highlight examples of initiatives, programs, and policies that have positively impacted widows’ empowerment and encourage participants to learn from these experiences to implement similar approaches in their contexts.

Expected Outcome 1:

One expected outcome of the webinar session is an increased awareness and understanding among participants about the importance of men’s involvement in addressing widows’ needs in Cameroon. Participants will gain knowledge about the challenges widows face, the benefits of men’s engagement, and the role they can play in promoting widows’ empowerment and gender equality.

Expected Outcome 2:

Another expected outcome is enhanced collaboration and action among participants. The webinar session aims to inspire individuals, organizations, and policymakers to take concrete steps towards supporting widows and promoting men’s involvement.

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