Under the theme: "PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT - OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, the Justice and Peace Service commemorated the International Women's Day 2016 in Collaboration with Women Peace Committees (WPCs) in Ngoketunjia Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. This was on Monday the 7th of March 2016 at the Balikumbat Development Organization (BADO) Hall in Balikumbat.
Among other activities that marked the celebrations, the WPCs of Bambalang, Balikumbat, Baligashu, Baligangsin, Bafanji, and Bamukumbit in their colourful uniforms chanted songs and danced beautifully to the rhythms. The presidents of each of these committees, in their very touching speeches, presented the situation of their committees, the level at which they are presently, and the impact of their activities in managing conflict, and sustaining peace, both at individual and communal levels. In all, the women lauded the efforts of the Justice and Peace Service, which recently have been yielding lots of fruits, and even men are willing to belong and actively participate in the WPCs. With inspiration from this initiative, the president of WPC Bambalang was motivated to form a WPC in Foumban in the West Region of Cameroon.
Very striking during this year's celebration is the fact that for the very first time since the creation of the Women Peace Committees in 2013, these women have grown above their differences which have often pushed their various communities into conflicts with one another, to join together during this forum as a starting point for mutual peaceful co-existence. They all promised to continue to build bridges, rather burn them.
The Coordinator of the Service, Laura Anyola Tufon on her part greatly appreciated the efforts of the women who have been very influential in bringing sustained peace in Ngoketundjia Division. Among other things, she promised her incessant support to the WPCs who have been a force to reckon with, and to work with the administration to look into issues that continue to compromise this much cherished peace. The women were also given some nutritional support.
The celebrations were equally graced with the presence of the 3rd Deputy Mayor for Balikumbat Council, Mme. Ngwe Mary Assumpta, who doubles as leader of the Women Peace Committee of Bafanji, and a representative of the Divisional Officer for Balikumbat Sub-Division who appreciated the efforts of Justice and Peace Service which has greatly assisted the administration to curb down conflicts. He encouraged the WPCs to keep up with the good work they have been doing for themselves, and the community.