I have never felt reduced as a woman, until I became part of this community am going to be narrating some experiences I encountered for the time I spent there.
As a teacher and an educated woman, I was previledged to serve my nation, Cameroon in the domain of education as a Chemistry teacher.
When I was transfered to work in this community for five years, there were many difficulties I encountered during my time of being there, but the worst difficulty I encountered was being accepted first, as an educated single woman and secondly, the hindrance to express my full potential as a woman. In this community, there is this belief that, the girl child is restricted to getting married, raising children, serving their husbands, cooking for the family, and should not be educated just like the boy child and has no right to any leadership position. In this very community, girls/women are not supposed be allowed to speak in public places, and if they have to meet a man say at the road, and have to greet them, it should be done with full respect and consideration to the superiority of the man. Usually this should be done in such a way that the woman/girl is obliged to sit on her fits in the course of greeting the man/men, and never allowed to shake hands with them in the process of doing so. I only learned about this after about two years of my living and working in this community. When I first came, I was not informed about this life style so I will most often want to greet everyone by a hand shake, and after sometimes I realized that some men will not even allow you shake hands with them. Most of the times, it was so embarrassing and that was why I started asking a lots of questions about the tradition of that community and this is how I discovered many things that I could not take.
While interacting with my students at school, I equally learned that the boys at their tender ages were already raised/taught by their community to discriminate and look down on the opposite sex, and should be treated as servants and not equals. Each time i instructed that the classroom should be cleaned by all the students, I realized that all the boys will shout in a chorus saying "Madam it is the responsibility of the girls to clean the classroom", and they meant what they said. This got me asking a lot of questions, just to learn that cleaning at home and other house chores was restricted to the girl child. When I had learned of all these gender abuse/bias that was not only practiced in communities but equally in schools, I made up my mind to educate and to fight against this discrimination against the girl child. At that time I was still single between the ages of 23 and 27, so the community considered me already too old for marriage so I was not respected by some of the villagers, and surprisingly some educated ones too just because their belief system placed value on early marriages for girls. This was again one of the most hurting experiences while in that community not to talk of when some of my female students were forced to drop out of school and were given husband at their tender ages. It was so heart breaking that the best academic performances were recorded by my girls, but were not allowed to pursue their beautiful dreams owing to these terrible practices against the girl child. I struggled to fight it at my own personal level at school and most often I visited some of their parents and encouraged them to give their girl children the opportunity to education, but my efforts were in vain because I was made to understand that I have no right to tell them what to choose for their children. Finally, I was transferred to another school so I had to leave that community. And after I left, I only got news that my students were all crying especially the girls and recently I equally learned that most of them were given into marriage as soon as they attained primary sexual maturity. This child marriage was very much sponsored and encouraged by this community. Till this moment, my heart bleeds for those children's dreams and future being shattered by the bad traditions and beliefs of men.