Thursday, December 26, 2013

WAA Takes on Militarism, Gender-based Violence

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-As part of activities to mark the sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence, the Yaounde based non governmental organization, Women in Alternative Action (WAA) organized a one-day information sharing and sensitization workshop on small arms proliferation and domestic violence.

During the workshop that took place under the theme “from peace in the home to peace in the world: let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women”, participants who were drawn from women’s rights organizations shared knowledge on varied issues such as violence against women and the impact of small arms proliferation on human security in central Africa amongst others.
According to the Executive Director of Women in Alternative Action (WAA) Justine Kwachu Ngum, though violence could be very common to the participants, militarization was probably new. She told them at the opening of the workshop that the absence of war in a country does not indicate the presence of peace. Using the case of Cameroon, the Executive Director pointed out that Central African rebels recently entered the country through the East region given its porous frontiers. This influx of the rebels she said, can lead to the inflow of small arms into the country.
Besides putting in place strategies to help end violence against women and children, the workshop also aimed at building collaboration between women’s rights advocates and providing participants with knowledge on the legal framework regarding small arms.
The 2013 16 days campaign dubbed “16 days activism against gender-based violence” advocates awareness and action on the multi-faceted intersections of gender-based violence and militarism, while highlighting the connection between the struggle for economic and social rights and ending gender-based violence.
The workshop was organized in partnership with the Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention (CPS-AVIP)
WAA used the event to announce the holding in Yaounde of the  6th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in 2014. The conference would take place under the theme ‘Eliminating Women And Girls Sexual And Reproductive Health Vulnerabilities In Africa’

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