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How Has Women’s Day Improved Their Status? 

Compiled By Elvis Tah, Francis Tim Mbom, Chris Mbunwe & Sixtus Mbom

I think women’s status has improved a lot. There is a lot of awareness and empowerment of women because many families today do not neglect the education of the girl-child as was the case in the past. It is only with education that a woman can get a reasonable job and earn a high salary and as such contribute to the development of her nation.
Clementina Njang Yong, Bamenda

Women Should Be Empowered Everyday
I don’t think Women’s Day has been able to improve the status of the woman because it is just a day; it starts at 8 am and ends in the evening. I don’t think they can effectively lecture women on how they can improve on their status in the society only on that day. So the day, to me, has no significance. For it to be effective, the woman should be coached everyday; to live up to her expectations and not to be a better half. They should be trained to live their everyday lives as a full-fledged human being and not a subordinate to the man.
Rosette Forche, Buea

Improved Morals Of Women
Women’s Day celebration has improved the morals of women. It has made them feel important and loved in our society. When women feel appreciated, it motivates them to do great things and take up responsibilities in the society.
Moma B. Nahbit, Student, Yaounde

Fanfare Day Instead Of Stock Taking
Women’s Day has not actually been put in its proper context. Ideally, it was a day meant for women to come together, take stock of what they have achieved so far, but, unfortunately, the day has been that of fanfare to the extent that the Cameroonian woman has not actually achieved much in the political dispensation. We have seen the impacts that women have had in the political dynamics of other countries. We saw women in Ivory Coast, recently marching to condemn violence on the people by Laurent Gbagbo.

These are some of the things we would like to see Cameroonian women getting involved in. In other countries like Botswana, Lesotho, women have influenced major reforms in parliament about their welfare. They have been able to address issues relating to discrimination of the woman, but in Cameroon, it is a whole political ballgame and the exploitation of the grassroots woman.

It is also a question of whether you can buy Women’s Day fabric or drink and get drunk and start chanting: ‘Woman eh! Hey!’ without giving the grassroots women the opportunity to express their problems. Women’s Day has been misconstrued and given political undertones. There is no gainsaying that women in this country have not been given a front role to play in spite of their high level of education.
Chris Tambe Tiku, Human Rights Activist, Buea

The Day Has Awakened Women
I am sure the day has created a lot of awareness among women and they have actually woken up from their slumber and have become very active and aware of their basic human rights in the society. This is so because, we usually have themes and sub-themes for the day’s celebration where we deliberate, have roundtable discussions; we talk and educate the women on their various rights. Looking at when we started and how far we have gone, the day has impacted on all the classes of women in the society; be they farmers, ‘buyam sellams’.
Margaret Ngute, Director, Women’s E.F Centre, Limbe

Day Has Plunged Women Into More Confusion
Women’s Day has instead plunged women into more confusion than reflecting on their lives. On every March 8, you see them running round the streets, some almost completely naked and others flying with their fabric. How can this improve their status?
Cosmas Nsoyonge, Mformi Law Chambers, Bamenda

Women Now Conscious Of Their Values
The celebration of Women’s Day has made women conscious of their values. It has made them know that they are capable of learning from each other and supporting the society. Some women groups donate gifts to the needy every year during the Women’s day festivities.
Josephine Berinyuy, Midwife, Yaounde

Does Not Mean Anything To Me
Celebrations of the women’s day do not mean anything to me. I do not see any impact of the day on women. To me, it is just a day like any normal day of the year, like today or tomorrow.
Marie-Noel Ngayo, Businesswoman, Yaounde

Day For Drinking And Infidelity
Many women take this day as a day set aside for women to go out and drink and practise infidelity. Some women take it as a day for them to take the place of the man in the house. I do not think it has brought anything useful to women in our society. I am not even interested in the celebrations because people do not even know its importance.
Nicoline Keng, Businesswoman, Yaounde

Not Improved Women’s Status 
I believe Women’s Day is a day that is meant to encourage most women who are backward concerning social life and those who are afraid to go out and meet their fellow women and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, I don’t see how this day has been able to improve on the status of the woman because whether there is Women’s Day or not, the woman remains a woman, who has to get married to a man, respect him and be answerable to him. This day, to me, has nothing to do with improving the woman’s status.
Mirabel Ewang, Budding Artist, Buea

Event Tied To Fabric, Drinking, Eating
It is a good thing that the day has been set aside in honour of women, but it has not improved their status because the event is tied to buying of fabric, drinking, eating etc. If the day had helped the women, you could have seen positive change in their behaviour and full participation in socio-political life of the nation. How many aspire to be presidents, how many of them are in politics? How many of them are in business?
Gaby Ambo Esq., Executive Director FGHI, Bamenda

Raised Level Of Consciousness Among Women
Women have learned much from the various themes that have characterised Women’s Day celebrations. This day has also helped to raise the level of consciousness among women. We have women at the Limbe City Council who are in decision-making positions and are contributing to the development of the city. But, again, we know that there are a few women who take advantage of this day to do only the wrong things and forget about their responsibilities and obligations at home.

A woman who thinks that on Women’s Day, she will not have to cook and do her normal activities before leaving the house has got it all wrong. Some women even go as far as staying out late in the night with the simple excuse that they were celebrating Women’s Day. I say no to that. We have to first of all fulfil our domestic obligations before going out for celebration, and after the merry making, without exaggeration, we come back home.
Theresia Ekombone Ngale, Limbe City Council

Day Is Misunderstood
I do not think Women’s Day has helped us because most of us have misunderstood all what it is about. We indulge in heavy drinking and misbehaving on the day. Look at the poor quality of the cloth that they are rushing to buy. It is a pity. Those buying this uniform and who will surely get drunk on this day, do not know the theme of what they are celebrating.
Emmerencia Ngah, Health Worker, Bamenda

Not Much Has Changed
To me, nothing has really changed because I have never been that concerned with the activities on Women’s Day. So I can’t really tell much about what has been going on or has not.
Sylvia Menging Ofon, Limbe

Women Now Actively Involved In Society
Women’s Day has made many women become actively involved in societal activities. Some women have learned to interact with the society as a result. Many women’s associations have been created because of the day and the members help each other in various ways.
Mbebwo Roger, Yaounde

It Has Not Improved Our Status
As a businesswoman, I think Women’s Day could have empowered us financially. We still do not have access to big loans. Those of us with very little money cannot be granted loans to expand our businesses. So to me, it has not improved our status.
Rose Ndi, Restaurant Owner, Bamenda

Day Has Helped The Women
For me, Women’s Day has helped the women a lot because during the celebrations, they carry out s many helpful activities, such as seminars where they are trained and advised on how to cater for their homes, how to behave and so on. On the day itself, the theme for the celebrations is usually another source of inspiration for the women. The themes help to teach and guide the women on their role in the society. And even if some do end up misbehaving, it’s just a handful.
Felicia Emade Ekor-Tarh, The Star Newspaper, Limbe

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