Celebrating International Women's Day: Protect Her , Empower Her

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

The history of International Women's Day stretches back more than 100 years when the day was first observed across Europe and America. However, according to NPR, it was not until March 8, 1946, that feminists in Italy chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength, sensibility, and sensitivity for Women's Day. Every year, women and men from every corner of the globe come together on March 8 to celebrate the journey women have taken to better their lives, also a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The theme of International Women's Day 2021 is "Choose To Challenge." Change comes from challenge — and that is the message organizers of International Women's Day 2021 hope to trumpet Monday, March 8. "A challenged world is an alert world," the International Women's Day website says.

While the world celebrates women's resilience and success, JLU global continues to evidence continuing abuse within the community.

1. 13 year old victim of rape

A recent event in Mokunda village, Buea, Southwest Region, Cameroon leaves villagers stunt when a 13yr old is discovered pregnant due to rape by her teacher. The young woman is an Internally Displaced Person( IDP) due to the region's ongoing crisis. She is said to share a bedroom apartment with her four siblings rented by their mother, who resides in Eyumojock a village in Manyu Division. Living alone without parents leaves them vulnerable to abusers and predators.

When questioned, authorities discovered the teacher had promised to buy a pair of school uniforms to support the young woman's academic ambitions. She goes to collect the uniform, he overpowers and rapes her, hoping she keeps it a secret. Thankfully the helpless young woman told her sister, who informed authorities. While the perpetrator sits behind bars without bail, the 13yrs old remains traumatized with the difficult task of taking care of herself and planning to raise a baby. Without proper intervention, this will be yet another case of a life destroyed without access to equal opportunities for success in society.

Mrs. Eteki Njoh nee Dopgims Stella, Regional Chief of Women's Rights and Gender, SW Region pictured holding the 13yr old raped victim. Pictures of her living condition with her 4 siblings explains why the teacher took advantage.

2. Parental abuse

Within the same region, a stepmother beats her stepdaughter leaving awful bruises, and forcing neighbors to call the authorities who later arrested her and placed her in detention, while the investigations continues.

To empower is to protect and vice versa.

Picture of bruises this young girl endured as discipline from her step-mother

In alignment with the 2021 International Women's Day theme " A challenged World is an Alert World," JLU challenges you to the following:

  • To create awareness on the negative impacts of abuse on humanity and the community

  • To detect and report abuse to the proper authorities.

  • To intervene, protect and show support towards victims.

  • To protect young people from sexual and physical abuse

  • To treat all children equally, show love, and kindness and nurture their potentials

  • To treat women with dignity

  • To provide equal opportunities to the vulnerable population

Women's day should serve as a reminder of one's responsibility towards young girls in communities. For that reason and many others, JLU pledges to continue the challenge beyond women's day.

To learn more and support the mission to protect and empower victims of abuse and human trafficking, visit: www.justlikeyouglobal.com

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