by Fonban Emmanuel
Women’s Guild for Empowerment and Development (WOGED) on Tuesday, 01 December 2020 organised a workshop on Gender-Based Violence, GBV and Human Trafficking. This took place at the Yaounde Hilton hotel in the presence of the General Manager of Hilton, Yaounde, members of partner organisations like CIVITAS and advocates in GBV and human trafficking.
Welcoming the participants who showed up for the workshop, the President and Founder of WOGED, Dr. Beatrice Titanji expressed her gratitude to all the participants and the Hilton boss, Julien Bezancon in particular, who made the workshop possible by accepting to offer Hilton to host the event in Yaounde. The presence of the General Manager of Hilton did not only spice the event but also proved the willingness and interest of Hilton to combat human trafficking within their facilities.
In her speech, Dr. Beatrice Titanji said Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking are very close friends and partners in crime. “We could come together and network as partners working on the plight of violated women and girls, be it through; rape, sex trafficking, battery or outright femicide i.e killing of women and girls” said Dr. Beatrice Titanji.
“I have been assaulted by my husband. We got married when I was at a tender age about 18 and we worked together till life became a little greener, he became hostile and felt like he shouldn’t provide for the home any longer. It was like pushing me to the wall to react but then according to our tradition, I was supposed to be humble enough to take that. He pushed me harder by being very unfaithful by coming home with girls and expecting me to be quiet. I confronted him and he felt like I was not humble and he battered me, knifed me and kicked me out of the house” said Bongko Glory, a victim who was present in the workshop.
Glory, a fluent victim of GBV has been stronger and taking care of her children while standing against GBV such that any other woman should not face the same situation.
The G.M of Hilton reiterated their commitment in fighting human trafficking and to him this was a way of turning to give back to the communities around them by helping organisations to fight these ills. “Hilton is looking at impacting communities, so it is our responsibilities to fight against this type of trafficking. That is why we have been partnering since the last three year with the NGO of Dr. Titanji to ensure that we help and support them in the fight. In the last two years, we took six women who were victims of this trafficking and we trained them at Hilton in house keeping and the kitchen department. Helped them to developed themselves to fight trafficking” said Julien Bezancon, the General Manager of Hilton, Yaounde.
The National Coordinator of CIVITAS Cameroon, Nsen Abeng said their interest is to help empower this victims and women economically and to equip them with knowledge and skills to help them stand on their own.
Advocates in women empowerment like Yaa Gladys Viban, Becky Bessong, a renowned Crtv journalist, and many others were present to add their voices and share ideas with fellow women to thwart GBV and human trafficking from repeating in our societies.
Closing the workshop, Dr. Beatrice called on all to join hands on the table especially men, whose efforts are highly needed to put an end to GBV and human trafficking. She also used the opportunity to thank her husband, renowned Prof. Titanji who was present at the hall, and from his wife the organiser, he has always supported the wife in this fight.