Fostering Women’s Participation in Development through Non-Governmental Efforts in Cameroon


Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2001. “Fostering Women’s Participation in Development through Non-Governmental Efforts in Cameroon.” The Geographical Journal 167 (3): 223–34. doi:10.1111/1475-4959.00020.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong


Women constitute 52 per cent of the population of Cameroon and play a very crucial role in the development of society at all levels. Unfortunately, they function from a subordinate position inherent in both traditional and state institutions. Women’s empowerment is currently an issue of national concern and both state and international efforts at mainstreaming women in development have so far produced mixed results. The ‘grassroots’ approach of NGOs has been effective in reaching women at all levels. Activities of NGOs have had far reaching but mixed effects in meeting both practical and strategic gender needs. This paper examines case studies of NGOs and women’s empowerment in Cameroon, and highlights their successes, with regard to improved access and welfare and their limitations, with regard to conscientisation, participation and control.

Keywords: Cameroon, NGOs, women's empowerment, participation development

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2001

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