Giving Compass' Take:

• Jude Thaddues Njikem explains how Cameroon has changed their laws to decrease gender inequality and why these steps are not enough. 

• How can countries go beyond changing laws to change the culture and truly achieve gender equality? 

• Read a gender equality funding guide for donors

The movement for the empowerment and autonomy of women in Cameroon, and the improvement of their political, social, economic, and health status, has walked a long distance but is still far from reaching its intended destination.

Cameroon has made key strides toward gender equality and women’s empowerment through major international commitments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Declaration of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on Equality Between Women and Men, and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, though these international and regional commitments take precedence over Cameroon’s national laws, customs, and traditions, the preference for customary laws remains and means that discrimination against women continues in Cameroon, especially in rural areas.

Further, the Preamble of the Constitution of Cameroon includes several provisions that enshrine gender equality. But many questions about ending inequalities faced by women continue to linger, such as the recognition of rape between husband and wife, protection for unemployed women, pension for widows, the continuation of child marriage, breast ironing, and other issues.

Read the full article by Jude Thaddues Njikem about gender inequality from the United Nations Foundation.