Written by Audrey Ogendi, 2016 YWLP Global Intern
Most people in Charlottesville got up from their beds on March 8, 2016, as if it was a typical Tuesday. Some went to their jobs, others to classes, and still others to visit friends. But on that same Tuesday, March 8, 2016, the women of Cameroon didn’t get up and go to work, or school, or to visit their friends. Instead the women of Cameroon came together in different cities and regions and MARCHED.
It wasn’t just any ordinary Tuesday for me either. I got up and put on my symbolic traditional Cameroon attire that had “ March 8, 2016 International Women’s Day” embroidered on it. The sequins on the dress were so meticulous and exquisite. I promised I would show all my friends at UVA.
As I stood there and watched the women march in their traditional outfits, I was astonished and mesmerized. Not only were there women, but also the men came to support. Women from the business sector, health sector, and even the church sector came together on that day. There were over three hundred women in Kumbo, Cameroon who decided to march. But this was not the only city where women were marching. Throughout the whole of Cameroon, marches were happening.
The faces of the women as they marched revealed such pride and confidence in each other. I had never seen such pleasure to be considered “women.” These women celebrated and marched, showing that women can do anything they desire. The event started out with women gathering in a track field in various groups: the hospital group, the bank groups, the education groups, and many others. Once they had gathered, the women started a march at the start line of track. Each group had a specific banner that represented who they were and their motto.
It was such a humbling experience to watch the whole country come together to celebrate International Woman’s Day. So many different women coming together for a common purpose. Now that’s a movement!