PROMOTING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC RIGHTS IN CAMEROON (WERC PROJECT)
10th PANEL DISCUSSION
“Enhancing Women’s Access to Inheritance in Cameroon”
Date: 10th August 2022 – Time: 15:00 – 16:30 (GMT+1)
Venue: Zoom – Online (Register Now)
According to a report published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2019, only 3% of women in Cameroon own a house without a land certificate and 1.6% have a land certificate in their name. Although they have access to some plots of land, they cannot have control over them, as they do not benefit from the inheritance rights of their parents and husbands. Thus, when land is at stake, women have little opportunity to assert their rights. However, in Cameroon, a framework was in place to protect women’s inheritance rights. This reference framework includes: the Constitution of Cameroon, the Civil Status Registration Ordinance, the Non-contentious Probate Rules of 1954, Section 46 (1) of the Administration of Estates Act 1925, and the French Civil Code of 1804 serve as the foundation for this framework (1). Though a 1974 Land Tenure Ordinance provides women with equal rights to property ownership, in reality customary tenure practices which discriminate against women sometimes trump national laws. In some cases, customary systems have provided women with secure rights to use land and resources however, recently women have experience greater difficulties protecting rights under these systems. Women’s property rights are particularly vulnerable after the death of a husband, as traditional tenure agreements often prohibit women from inheriting property (2). The inability of women to freely access and control productive resources places them in a weaker position in terms of agricultural productivity and economic growth, food security, family income and equal participation in governance. It is within this framework that the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation is organizing a panel discussion on ‘Enhancing Women’s Access to Inheritance in Cameroon’.
The main objective of this panel discussion is to examine the legal framework in Cameroon for the protection of women’s rights to inheritance, which is based primarily on English and French laws. Specifically, it will be a matter of:
· Discussing the concept of women’s inheritance rights and the reasons for the persistent gender inequalities in this area in Cameroon;
· Highlighting the effectiveness of measures put in place to promote women’s inheritance rights in Cameroon;
· Proposing some strong policy recommendations to address the barriers faced by women in accessing inheritance in Cameroon.
3. Target audience
This event is open to policy makers, women-led organizations, women leaders, youth leaders, and the general public.
4. Outcome of the event
Increased awareness among participants of why and how to advocate for women’s access to inheritance in their communities.
Dr. Jean Cedric Kouam, (Moderator) Deputy Director, Economic affairs, Nkafu Policy Institute
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