Women represent a majority of the world’s population, but they often don’t have the same opportunities as men to participate in economy and society. Many women face discrimination, lack of access to credit, and high illiteracy rate and therefore are often treated as second-class citizens. Despite this, women are responsible for their children and households. Giving women equal opportunities not only allows them to achieve their full potential, it creates a more productive society and improves the lives of their children. 3/4 of Cameroonian women rely on subsistence agriculture.
Therefore, building the capacities of rural poor farming women is crucial to emancipating women in Cameroon. When these women come together they increase their strength for self and community development. The lives of a rural woman in the NWSW (Anglophone crisis), Far North (Boko Haram) and East (rebels from the CAR) have been made more difficult due to the ongoing armed conflicts and humanitarian crisis ongoing in these regions. These crises have rendered many women widows and left them the responsibilities of household heads. Most of these women have been forced to flee from their natural habitat into bushes and towns with little or no resources to take care of themselves and their children. Some of them have suffered from the destruction of their livelihoods leaving them with nothing.
To empower Poor rural women through sustainable economic programs and enhance women’s knowledge for self-development through Productive capacity-building and provision of micro credits and Micro Enterprise Development
SHUMAS runs capacity-building sessions with the poor rural women on;
- Agriculture (livestock and market gardening) and support with startup materials
- Micro enterprise development (livelihood enhancement) and the provision of micro credits through loans and cash and voucher for rural IDP women
- Personal health and sanitation and psychosocial support for IDP women.
- Over 10,000 poor rural women have benefited from productive capacity building workshops.
- About 4800 rural women including 300 IDP women in the NWR have been trained on livestock and market gardening and provided with startup materials.
- Over 4000 rural women including 300 IDP women in the NWR have benefited from the micro credits through direct loans or cash and vouchers.
- 300 IDP women trained on personal health and sanitation and given psychosocial support.
- Many women presently are in need following the crises ravaging over 4 regions of Cameroon. However, the available resources to SHUMAS cannot handle these needs. SHUMAS has therefore been able to help less than 5% of those in need.
- Some of the traditions and customs practiced continue to limit women from speaking up and benefiting from the available assistance even though small. Fulani women according to their customs make find it difficult interacting and accepting help.