Raising Women’s Voices: Peace is All We Need

Women Cameroon peace
A women’s cooperative is forming in the township of Yoko, Cameroon. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Meet Jane Frances Mufua from Cameroon who says “peace is all we need.” Written in 2018, she reflects on the challenges of celebrating the International Day of Peace while experiencing the sociopolitical conflict in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon. With people facing internal displacement, killings, lootings, and the destruction of property, she explains how crucial it is to continue the work of peacebuilding throughout the year. Below are excerpts from her blog originally published on World Pulse’s website as part of our collaborative effort titled the Women, Peace and Security Global Polling Project. To view the results of the project click here. Below are excerpts from her story, to read the full-text click here.

Cameroon is a state of law and the freedom of movement is guaranteed in its Constitution and in other international Conventions that it has signed and ratified. Whatever reasons may be advanced for the restriction of movement, my worry has been the consequences of this restriction on the population, especially on the vulnerable- the poor, pregnant women, children, sick people amongst others. The state may take the responsibility to restrict movement for the benefit of the people but how it is done remains important. A plan on how to manage emergencies in the case of a curfew has to be well elaborated and communicated so as to help those in need. Despite the importance of an emergency plan in such situations, we have none.

My governor’s press release was signed on the 28th of September to take effect from the 30th of September. My concern is about the measures put in place to assist those who would need emergency assistance; especially those in need of medical attention that can not wait.  I know my country too well and I know what those who claim to be security officers are capable of doing. It is no longer news that several people have died simply because they could not access a health facility within curfew time.

The excesses of the security forces have turned them into foes rather than true agents of security and peace that the community can trust. We have been reassured on several occasions that the security forces are there to restore peace and order but the reality we live on a daily basis is different.

We need peace now more than ever before. Peace is more precious than gold and silver. I am shouting at the top of my voice for peace to reign; so that the senseless killings can stop. I pray for peace so that my kids can go back to school. I pray for peace so that I can go home for there is no place like home. I pray for peace to be able to do the things I use to do without being afraid of the bullet. It’s all about peace.

Raising Women’s Voices is a series of blogs and videos highlighting the work of women peacebuilders from around the globe. During the COVID-19 crisis, we want to highlight the work of women because it is more critical than ever to support women peacebuilders who are key to maintaining stable and peaceful communities. We will feature interviews with the awardees for Distinguished Partners for Women, Peace and Security 2020, and stories from our Global Polling Project, originally posted on World Pulse. We will continue to amplify women’s voices with new stories through this campaign.