This was one of several recommendations made during a panel discussion by a working group formed by the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation.
The event organised on Friday September 9, was aimed at analysing laws and policies on strengthening women’s economic empowerment in Cameroon.
It was organised as part of activities of the Nkafu Policy Institute’s project dubbed Promoting Women Economic Rights in Cameroon, WERC.
According to the Project Lead, Sylvie Namondo, the WERC Project funded by the Atlas Network, is aimed at advocating for the removal of gender discriminatory laws that prevent women from engaging in economic productive activities.
She indicated that the panellists endorsed the organisation of capacity building for young girls, especially in high schools and universities, which are critical stages to choosing career path.
“We have recommended capacity building workshops to train students so that they be prepared before they leave school and to know what is ahead of them,” the Project Lead said.
To ensure women attain economic empowerment, she added that training centres need to be opened for entrepreneurs, most of whom belong to the informal sector, to be trained in the centres on how to formalise their businesses and have access to finances.
“According to a report published UN Women, investing in women is the surest path to economic growth, reduction of poverty and promotion of economic growth,” Namondo reiterated.
On her part, the chairperson of the working group, Barrister Chefu Sirri Joy, urged women to break certain stereotypes and cultural believes that limits them.
She reiterated that women must be daring and to take advantage of the opportunities made available by government.
“There is the problem of cultural barriers to women who have grown up in homes to be mediocre or not to think that certain opportunities or professions are for women. They don’t push for these opportunities because they don’t see the women role models who have goon ahead,” the chairperson said.
She added that: “Most women think it is okay to be just a teacher, nurse, and related domains and would not dare into great opportunities in technologies, medicine and others. It is not because they cannot do, but because they have been made to know that some of those professions or opportunities are meant for men. We need to break all these stereotypes”.
The WERC Project is funded by the Atlas Network. The project constitute several activities from panel discussions of operational working groups to publication of academic reports.