GBV is a world-wide issue that does not only affect women and girls, it affects men as well. In most developing countries all over the world, women and girls are most affected by GBV because they are more valuable than their male counterparts with cultural and political biases having a big role to play. These inequalities make it more difficult for women and girls to get an education, marry when they choose to, have little decision-making power over their lives, households and communities and limited access to legal protection. It’s not easy for women to access economic opportunities and even when they do, they often don’t have control over how their income is used.
In order to change the balance of power between men and women, VSC-Cameroon is researching and creating an awareness on deep-rooted social, cultural, religious and historical GBV practices in Cameroon and working to reform policy that will enhance social justice and human rights to those affected. VSC-Cameroon believes that the way forward to combating GBV is working through communities and raising awareness on physical, sociocultural, economic and psychological consequences of GBV and how these impedes development.
CED and Poverty Reduction
CED is a relatively new concept in development and its role in poverty reduction is still being explored but there has been a relative success in the application of this theory in some communities in the West (Tamarak). CED could be referred to as a community-centered process aimed at creating local economic opportunities that will improve social conditions, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged. The basic principle is about making or saving money through local and community led initiatives.
VSC-Cameroon is doing an extensive research in Cameroon and working with communities to explore possible CED pilot projects which will engage communities and hopefully reduce the poverty situation. VSC-Cameroon sees CED as a great tool to poverty reduction because it will greatly reduce community dependency on government and foreign assistance to solve local problems. Rather, CED will empower community members to be more pro-active in searching for solutions to community problems. Communities will be actively involved in conceiving, planning, executing and evaluating micro CED projects which will benefit the communities economically while creating a stronger sense of community.