By Abrelegwi Ngoasong, August 8th,2013

On Thursday, the 8th of August, a Capacity building Workshop for NGOs was carried out from 9:30 am to 12 noon. This day was equally the feast of the Ramadan .The workshop was held on Gender equality and was facilitated   by   Miss. Goergia Testoni – an intern in G C I – and Mr. Ryan Arnold – a Peace Corps volunteer from America working with the Cameroon Football Development programme (CFDP)Kumba. It took place at the Global Conscience Initiative (GCI) conference hall. In attendance were fifteen people who constituted members from the CFDP, Key Farmers and GCI.

It started with Georgia introducing the theme -Gender Equality. She began with the first activity by introducing the history of women’s rights, how it began from the 19th to the 20th century when there existed absolute rights, rights to vote and non discrimination. It then moved to the 1960s to 1980s when the fight was for economic as well as socio –cultural rights, for example the right to education, equal remuneration, right to family benefits and just to name a few. And finally,   came   the present period with the idea of global movement. This movement marked the   progression of women’s rights from the western world to the rest of the world.

She then proceeded with the universality or cultural relativism which was posed as an open question to all participating in the workshop. Participants affirmed the universality of women’s rights. This is because women’s rights are being advocated for in all societies today be it in the West or East.

Furthermore, she elaborated on the protection of women’s rights at the international level citing the United Nation’s charter, The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Convention on the Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

In addition on the above she went further to enlighten us on the implementation of this issue of Gender equality by different human rights structures. She mentioned the committee on the Elimination of Discrimination whose role is to examine reports, carry out investigations on individuals complaints; another there is also the United Nations conference   on Women. Georgia equally pin pointed that, Women’s rights are non compliant.

Ryan then moved to the next part of the workshop which was also very participative. This activity was “Act like a Man” and   “Act like a woman”. Act like a man included things   that a man should be or do like Drinking, decision making, acting strong, brave and courageous. And Act like a woman included; cooking, dressing, self control, support the man, child birth and taking care of children .And we all concluded that all men and women should not act according to the societal expectations of their sex but should possess some gender equality qualities together like caring, team work, loving, show emotions, discipline and above all be God fearing.

As the workshop got more interesting Ryan ask three girls to sit surrounded by men and take a few fast questions on gender equality.

And lastly there came another stage where we were all divided into three different groups and have to work on three different topics too. The topics were Transactional sex, Cross Generational Sex and Concurrent Multiple Sex. The lesson we learned after this activity is that sex be it transactional, cross generational or concurrent multiple sex is not encourage because it does not bring positive change to our societies. These tasks were supervised by Ryan which we did for ten minutes and the resolutions were presented by one member from each group. The workshop finally came to an end for that Thursday and the next workshop was schedule for Tuesday the 12th of August, same venue same time.

The Workshop was a big success as every participant left satisfied to have gathered new skills and techniques on how to promote issues on gender equality advocacy.