Backstreet Abortions Plague Cameroon
Chongsi Ayeah Joseph, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy, says that Cameroon’s laws on abortion promote backstreet abortion because they don’t allow for other options.
“People need larger freedoms, and the law should have such room,” he says. “Laws should not be an impediment.”
He says that women have the right to choose.
“A woman’s right to control her own body and destiny should not be taken for granted,” he says.
According to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, a German NGO, 200 million women in developing countries have no access to safe and effective methods of family planning.
Like in other countries around Africa, the provision of sexual and reproductive health services to young people in Cameroon – although legal – is still a sensitive issue.
NGOs, CSOs, the government and parent-teacher associations are partnering to provide sexual and reproductive health education for youths. Some schools across Cameroon have introduced sex education into the curriculum.
The government has established family planning clinics. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment also organizes an annual march on International Women’s Day that relates to the year’s theme. Last year, the march aimed to sensitive the community to and educate it on the correct and systematic use of the female condom as a tool for family planning and to prevent the spread of HIV.
This story first appeared in the Global Press Institute, and is reposted with permission.