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Female Representation At Cameroon’s National Assembly Applauded 

A visiting delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat headed by Dr. Daniella De Vito has lauded the Government of Cameroon in the attainment of the 30 percent rate of female representation at the National Assembly.

This percentage rate, Dr. De Vito said, is in line with the Beijing Action Platform.
The head of the Commonwealth Secretariat was speaking in Yaounde, October 8, during a curtsey visit to Elections Cameroon, ELECAM.

The Post learnt that Cameroon achieved the 30 percent female rate at the National Assembly after the September 30, 2013, twin elections in which 55 women were elected into the 180-seat Parliament.
The visit, which falls within the framework of the final review on gender equality mainstreaming and women empowerment in the Commonwealth Action Platform on Gender Equality for 2005-2015, targets some countries of the Gentleman’s Club, with a record of best practices in the implementation of the said platform which Cameroon is among.

This, therefore, gave the ELECAM Board Chair, Dr. Samuel Fonkam Azu’u, the opportunity to explain certain gender laws that enabled Cameroon to attain the status.

Talking to the press, Dr. Fonkam Azu’u said the requirement of gender equality, which is also recommended by the Africa Union, depends on Cameroon’s legislature to fix a gender quota for election positions.

“Presently, our legislature requires that political parties submit gender-based candidate lists with no specific quota of female representation. As an elections management body, we simply interprete the law affirmatively, but cannot do more than that,” he explained.

He recounted the rejection by the Electoral Board of certain lists submitted by political parties which were not gender-sensitive during the twin elections, a factor, which, to him, accounts for the realisation of the 30 percent female representation in the decision-making process.

The ELECAM Board Chair regretted the little enthusiasm from women during the revision of voters’ list.
“For women to occupy more seats and positions in the decision-making process of the country, they need to be actively involved in the registration and voting process of the country. The women outnumber the men in population, which already, gives them an advantage, but they are, however, less active in the political sector,” he regretted.

Commonwealth, which has been working in collaboration and evaluating the activities of ELECAM, is also involved in the promotion of human rights, governance and the rule of law among member countries.

By Eulalia Amabo Nchang

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