Within the framework of the project “Promoting Women in Peace Building Processes”, the Justice and Peace Commission found it imperative to address violence and conflicts that are prevalent in families through the unfair sharing of gender roles at home.
Hence, the workshop which was on Gender Roles in the Family and community targeted the Catholic Women Association (CWA) and the Catholic Men Association (CMA) from all the six Deaneries that make up the Archdiocese of Bamenda. These associations sent 33 delegates for the one day workshop that took place at the Paul VI Memorial Pastoral Center, Bamendakwe on the 14th of April 2015. The objective of the workshop was to enable participants to understand that:
- Men and women have equal dignity
- This dignity should be respected in marriage, family and in the community
- Man and woman complement each other in household responsibility and child upbringing
- Some traditional customs are a serious obstacle to women’s rights and dignity
At the beginning of the workshop, participants took a pre-workshop test on equality and mutual respect between husband and wife, discriminatory cultural practices such as forced and arranged marriages, women and inheritance and decision making roles at home and in the family and what the Bible and the Cameroon written law say about the above topics.
A cohesive and stable community begins with mutual respect and a fair sharing of responsibility by husband and wife.
The participants were therefore briefed on some relevant gender topics and challenged to deepen and disseminate the acquired knowledge in peer groups in their respective Deaneries in due course. The seminar was an eye opener on gender issues in the Archdiocese and will serve as an entry point for promoting gender equality.
Activities of the day included presentations, experience sharing, group discussions, deliberations on key issues raised and finally action planning.