Women’s rights are human rights. And human rights are women’s rights. The escalation of preventable violence in Cameroon underscores the need for a binding, global treaty that levels the law for victims and survivors. This week our Senior Policy Research Fellow, Dr. Jeanne Anyouzoa shares her analysis.  

“Violence against women is taking a gruesome turn in Cameroon, a country in Central Africa, where a civil war has been raging since 2017 as the result of a failed bid at culturally and politically assimilating an English-speaking minority in the Southwest part of the country. Graphic videos depict the murder of women at the hands of rebel groups. Violence allegedly perpetrated by government forces have been widely condemned by human right groups and foreign chancelleries.

“A close analysis of these incidents illustrates the increasingly barbaric crimes are an epiphenomenon of deeply ingrained cultural biases against women across ethnic, social, and political lines in a country where, interestingly, the leadership is genuinely promoting the welfare and wellbeing of women and girls.

“These recent events in Cameroon should be a wakeup call for all who are not yet convinced of the necessity of a binding treaty to protect women and girls everywhere. Every Woman Treaty’s clarion call for this binding treaty is more than a rallying cry.

“The souls of those sisters speak to us. The souls of those sisters speak to the world.”

MUST READ: Cameroon CIvilians Protest Growing Separatist Barbarism, Increasing Violence (VOA)

Dr. Anyouzoa has grounded experience in the development of national public health programs, strategic plans, policies and guidelines in Cameroon, has secured donor and domestic resources, and provided technical support for their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Dr. Jeanne Anyouzoa is an Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) board-certified medical doctor with over seven years of work experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has successfully provided leadership for health system strengthening and implementation of national communicable and non-communicable diseases, and emergency/trauma programs in Cameroon-West Africa. Dr. Anyouzoa was the abstract poster laureate of the American Academy of Paediatric/Primary Urgent Care (AAP/PUC) conference on Emergency Medicine in Florida in November 2018.

Passionate about addressing social disparities in health care through community outreach, health education, policy development, and advocacy, Dr. Anyouzoa has worked with the University of Washington and King County, Washington State, USA conducting health access and cost-effectiveness research.