Cameroon is determined to use Education to Promote Women’s Rights (Ambassador Mrs. Melono)

H.E Mrs. Odette Melono (Cameroon's Ambassador/Head of Mission to the kingdom of the Netherlands)

H.E Mrs. Odette Melono (Cameroon’s Ambassador/Head of Mission to the kingdom of the Netherlands)

In an elaborate speech to Cameroonian women and their spouses in the Hague, the Netherlands on the occasion of the Commemoration of International Women’s day on March 23, 2013, under the theme: “Violence Against Women”, the Cameroon Head of Mission to the Netherlands Her Excellency Ambassador Mrs. Odette Melono told the gathering that “Cameroon is determined to use Education to Promote Women’s Rights”.

She made the declaration after thanking all Cameroonian Women, Dutch women, African sisters and especially the gentlemen present whom she referred to as: “partners in promoting and defending the rights of women”.  Following the example of the Cameroonian Government, H.E Mrs. Melono explained that “we have decided to focus mainly on education today as we believe that it is the only way to change our behavior and give a positive future to the next generation”.

Ambassador Melono added that “the celebration of International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to examine the efforts that we have to make for women”.

In the Cameroon setting, the Head of Mission outlined violence against women to include: sexual, physical and psychological violence with examples such as rape, female genital mutilation, widowhood rites, forced marriage, prostitution and denial of the right of inheritance.

In this respect, she insisted that “it is the fight of all men and women” to break the silence of the victims; the struggle against impunity and to save half of humanity from the consequences of injustice, ignorance and the denial of rights.

H.E Odette Melono then told the gathering that in Cameroon under His Excellency President Paul Biya’s Government, which recognizes the inevitability of violence against women, an education and awareness-raising campaign, has been launched to promote a culture of tolerance and peace in order to try to eliminate the root causes of violence.

President Biya’s Government efforts H.E Mrs. Melono advised, should be complimented by efforts from the society…”from each and every one of us…men and women”.

During the event, the Cameroonian Embassy invited two Dutch teachers: Mr. Vogelaar and Mrs. Groeningen to talk about the complex Dutch Educational system because according to the Head of Mission…“the benefits of education are equally significant for both family and national plans”. Secondly, she pointed out that “we have noticed that too many of our children are finishing their education with few skills and even fewer opportunities and because of that they are having real difficulties integrating into the Dutch society”.

In conclusion, Her Excellency Mrs. Odette Melono on behalf of the Cameroonian women in the Netherlands and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg especially thanked the Cameroonian First lady, her Excellency Mrs. Chantal Biya for the wonderful tradition she has established with the Cameroonian women Community in the Netherlands and Luxemburg by donating cloth material each year.

The festivities were held on Saturday March 23, 2013 at the Juliana Kerk (Hall) in the city of The Hague. Every year since Ambassador Odette Melono took office in the Netherlands, the Cameroonian Embassy in the Netherlands organizes activities to commemorate the International Women’s Day.

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