It was one of the main messages of the World Population Day which took place this 11 July 2023 at the Nkongsamba’s festival square. A ceremony presided over by the Minister Delegate of the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development in charge of Planning, Mr Paul Tasong, in the presence of the Resident Representative United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Justin Koffi and Local Authorities.
“Unleashing the power of gender equality: uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities”, it was the theme selected this year to celebrate the World Population Day (WPD). A highly evocative theme in a world where women and girls who make up 49.7% of the population are subject to all kinds of abuse. According to the Minister Delegate, Paul Tasong, women and girls in Cameroon make up more than half of the population, which is more than 51%. There is the urgent need to completely unlock the potential of these women and girls so that they can best contribute to Cameroon’s economic development. Indeed, it is acknowledged that gender-based inequalities jeopardise the effective and sustainable construction of development. With this in mind, Cameroon has made a commitment at the highest level to make gender equality a reality in all sectors of the Cameroonian society. A number of actions have been taken to promote gender, including the drafting of the National Gender Policy (NGP); the integration of gender issues into ministerial strategies and budgets; the creation of a high number of projects and programmes to promote women at national and local levels; the implementation of numerous activities to promote women’s rights, etc. We should also identify the actions of partners such as UNFPA, that work daily with the government for the well-being of women in Cameroon.
In his speech, Dr Justin Koffi, UNFPA Resident Representative in Cameroon, reiterated his institution’s commitment to the rights of women and girls, because the State of the World Population Report 2023 shows that when women and girls have autonomy on their lives and their bodies, they and their families flourish. The knock-on effect is a better, more inclusive world, well equipped to face any demographic changes and challenges of the future. Therefore, it is important to promote gender equality to help realise the dreams of 8 billion people in the world.
With this in mind, UNFPA is advocating for the voices of women, girls and other marginalised people to be heard and for laws and policies to be introduced that enable them to exercise their rights and make meaningful choices. The celebration of World Population Day at the Place des Fêtes in Nkongsamba this 11 July 2023 was the culmination of a week of activities. It was also an opportunity to award prizes to the winners of the various sporting, artistic and intellectual competitions, as well as to present donations of agricultural equipment and health kits to local groups and associations