Aliah as bright as she was she had not seen the four walls of a secondary school. She graduated from primary school and moved to Limbe some years ago to attend secondary school. While living with her uncle, anticipating the start of school, Aliah helped in performing house chores. She soon discovered that she had already spent several months in the house, with no hope of ever going to school again. Aliah’s uncle had squandered the money that was to be used as her school fees and left her stranded for life. She then became a gardener who grew vegetables. In due season she harvested the vegetables and sold them raising money to care for her self; this went on for some time and the hopeless situation forced her into marriage at a tender age. At 18 she bore my senior sister and latter she became a retailer of food items at the market for a change of occupation. I saw my mother go through a lot of difficulties because of her lack of education and this birth PASSION in my heart to make sure I am educated and grow to fight against illiteracy among women. Many women in Cameroon are denied the privilege of developing themselves into better people by unprecedented happening like that of Aliah; Only 45 percent of women in Cameroon are able to read and write compared to 70 percent of men, and literacy levels in rural areas are even lower. As a result of high illiteracy levels and a lack of access to relevant information, rural women are typically completely unaware of certain privileges at their disposal and this affects them in many ways. The customary law goes ahead to prevents female children from inheriting real estate from parents. Limits on women’s land ownership also lead to their economic and social marginalization as, for instance, they make it very difficult for women to obtain loans for which banks typically require collateral. Activists have appealed for greater attention and the formation of programs aimed at increasing literacy among women and a better application of the laws granting women the right to inherit land, but the government has not done enough to start changing the de facto inequality and economic marginalization of women. Particularly, it has not distributed widely enough information on the equal rights of women, a failure that many activists see as the main obstacle to change. As such, working towards providing opportunities for women to achieve their development is what drives my life. I talk of opportunities in general because development can be achieved through both formal and informal avenues like web 2.0, seminars, conferences, radio talks and a vocational institute. I intend to set up a vocational institute where more women of school going age and even adults who have never been to school can be educated. The more women are educated, the easier and faster the process of women emancipation. When more women are educated, they know their rights and they will not give into practices such as breast ironing, widow hood rituals nor domestic violence. They will stand up to their defense when they know their rights. It is said “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. Development is a continuous process because there is no limit to the elasticity of the human potential.Therefore after school putting their acquired skills into use for money generating, the women can develop themselves to any level and fulfill their dreams. With this in mind, advocating for the education of more women in Cameroon will be enhanced when I become a voice of our future correspondent. Web 2.0 is also a means of achieving self development; educative write ups will go a long way to inspire those who depend on the internet for study materials. It is said “many hands do light work” on pulse wire I will fine the other hands I need to do the light job of bringing education to more women in my community.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.