Empowering Women and Girls against COVID 19 in the North West Region of Cameroon
· BeLA believes the population of the North West region which has suffered sociopolitical unrest caused by the Anglophone Crisis during the past three years needs to be protected from further calamity such as the COVID-19. There is a need to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and prevent further spread of infection in the North West region.
BeLA thinks women and girls are the hardest hit as far as the pandemic is concerned, reason for taking into consideration the specific needs of women and girls when sensitizing the population on COVID 19. Under the sponsorship of Urgent Action Fund Africa, BeLA was able to do the following:
1- Carry out a one week sensitization campaign using posters, flyers, public speaking in hospitals, markets, bus stations and other public places on the basic preventive methods of the COVID -19. Our focus was on women and girls who are caregivers, pregnant women, nursing mothers, female health practitioners, bayam sellams or small road side vendors. We also sensitised women on what to do when faced with domestic violence which is on the rise as a result of the pandemic. In addition to the flyers, we distributed over 500 face masks, 700 pieces of soap and stationed hand wash buckets for women to use in these places. This took place from the 5-9 May 2020
2- We organised a one day training workshop for 30 journalists and local language broadcasters on May 13, 2020. Journalists and local language broadcasters are considered the voice of the society with credible information. They were trained on how to mainstream gender when reporting on COVID 19 taking into consideration the specific needs of women and girls. At the end of the workshop, the media practitioners were given CD drives and USB keys containing information they can use as resources in the media houses.