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North West: Grassroot Women Peace Builders Discuss Difficulties faced towards Fostering Peace in their communities

Grassroot women Peace leaders from the seven divisions in the North West Region of Cameroon have in a Focus group discussion on Peace ponder on the challenges and barriers women face in effectively engaging in Peacebuilding processes in their communities.

The round table discussion which is a follow-up of the National Women's Peace Convention that took place in Yaounde and the Regional Restitution of the Women's National Convention that held in the South West and North West Region in 2021 was organized by South West North West Women Taskforce, SNWOT, on Wednesday 26 January 2022 at Faith Building Ntarinkon, Bamenda.

"This focus group discussion is intended to build on their understanding of peace, to get their needs, their challenges, their barriers, their recommendations that we will now use to influence the modules that we are going to develop for capacity building", Bolima Nancy Monitoring & Evaluation SNWOT and Focus Group Discussion Lead.

Bolima Nancy, M&E SNWOT and Focus Group Discussion Lead

For these participants whose identities remain anonymous, data collected based on their experience and challenges shared during the session will be used as a point of contact in building their skills based on their needs.

"In the conversations, we have had today, some of them say they have been engaging in peace but not understanding what peace is and what is required of them in that process. The challenges and how do they overcome these challenges. After this when we triangulate the data, we will have the thematic areas that will come out based on their needs. So all of these things are going to be built in the modules that are going to enhance their capacities such that when they go out they are not just guessing but armed with knowledge and technically equipped", Bolima Nancy said.

The focus group discussion was also an opportunity for them to share and learn from their peers especially about solutions that can be used in peace work.

"As a peacebuilder, I have been faced with confrontations and identifying the needs of people in the community. Thanks to this focus group discussion, I have been able to identify ideas that can help build peace in my community", a participant highlighted.

Participants during the Focus Group Discussion

In order to solve the different challenges faced by these women in their various communities, participants recommended that peace clubs be created, Civil Society Organisations should form a coalition, women should advocate for representation at the decision-making table amongst others.

With the socio-political crisis still plaguing the region, the challenges and recommendations shared by these peace ambassadors are expected to be a turning point for Civil Societies, funders to capitalize on and empower them with not only knowledge but funds that will enable them run activities that promotes peace in their communities.

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