Sexual Health and Rights Conference Tackles Harmful Traditional Practices in Africa

The African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights presents an opportunity to propose strategies to shift the culture of silence on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Partner: Association pour la Promotion de l’Autonomie et des Droits de la Jeune Fille/Femme (APAD)

  • November 12, 2013

Early and forced marriage is illegal in Cameroon, but economic and social factors allow the tradition to continue. Approximately 36 percent of girls under 18 are married — often against their will. In the extreme north region of the country, the figure jumps to nearly 80 percent.

APAD has trained more than 150 survivors of early and forced marriage to speak out against this practice. In addition, 17 influential traditional leaders have been trained to convince parents of young girls to refrain from marrying them off and insist they remain in school.

Partner: Femmes-Santé-Développement (FESADE)

  • November 12, 2013

In Cameroon, young people’s access to comprehensive sexuality education is low, leaving them vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, and STIs, including HIV. Responding to these concerns, FESADE, founded in 1993, developed an interest in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. FESADE has addressed this hole in young people’s education by developing a peer education program…

Help End Early and Forced Marriage by Supporting the Grassroots

  The numbers are staggering. Every year, 10 million girls under the age of 18 enter early and forced marriages, usually to men much older than they are. By becoming a child bride, a girl gets nearly every odd stacked against her. This epidemic received much-needed attention last month during the first-ever International Day of…

When Girls’ Lives Matter: Ending Early and Forced Marriage in Cameroon

Andrea Lynch, a former IWHC staffer, has authored a report published by the Population Council that looks at child marriage and features the work of our partner the Association for the Struggle Against Violence Against Women (ALVF). IWHC was one of the first major partners of ALVF: in 1998 our support enabled them to…

Growing Up Female in Cameroon: Interview with Dadine Dsandjon

  • July 29, 2011

“Young people need to be educated about their sexual rights. In Cameroun, the rights of young women are violated all the time. Many women don’t know that they have the right to decide with whom and when to have sexual relations.” Dadine Dsandjon is the Assistant Executive Secretary of RENATA (Reseau National…

Cameroonian Gay Rights Group May Face Legal Consequences for Accepting a Grant

Over the last year, there has been a lot of attention paid to state-sanctioned homophobia in Africa, where there are many countries that make same-sex sexual activity illegal. Around the world, there are about 80 countries that criminalize homosexual behavior. Gay and lesbian groups have been fighting back against public harassment and human rights violations…

Will Female Condoms Thrive in the Face of Bad Press?

Above: volunteer health educators with the Society for Women and AIDs in Africa – Cameroun (SWAAC) do a female condom demonstration in a busy marketplace in a Camerounian village…

From Cameroun to Maine: Who Dictates What's Best for People Living with HIV/AIDS?

Last week, Quinta Layin Tuleh, a 28-year old woman from Cameroun, was given an unprecedented, extended jail sentence by Judge Woodcock in Maine in order “to protect her unborn child.” Tuleh is pregnant, living with HIV, and in violation of immigration laws, which is why she was ostensibly…

From Cameroun to the Pope: Reality Check Please

This week, Pope Benedict XVI will make his inaugural trip to Africa after nearly four years as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.  During this trip, Pope Benedict will visit Cameroun and Angola to make preparations for…