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.

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Dear Vyette, Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing of providing education to women. Here in Uganda we are facing the same challenges of the majority of women who cant read and write. I am also thing of such intervention and now I know where to go. cheers Loyce

Follow me on twitter:@livelyloyceMy

Dear Yvette, Thank you for calling attention to this crucial point. Education is such an important aspect of empowerment and development, especially for women. Studies have shown how educating women improves health, nutrition, and education of future generations. In addition to improving access to and quality of education, we need to make sure the opportunities to use what they've learned are available in order to accelerate growth and development in the community. This is a powerful opportunity (and necessity) you've brought up!

Dear Yvette, thank you so much for sharing your story! Thank you especially for highlighting the need for education and the importance of the Cameroonian government's involvement in such work. I think it takes great insight, much courage and continuous hard work to call on your government to better do their job in educating and empowering women and I greatly admire you for your efforts! Thank you too for the information sharing regarding resources for other women seeking to empower their communities.

Thanks Yvette! Your story starts out very powerfully and I commend you on your goal to start a vocational school in your country. With your hard work, I am sure your goals will be fully realized.



Good work you are doing for the people of Cameroon. Thanks also for enlightening me on information that has most recently gained my attention. From women's rights, to the upcoming elections, and actitvism of women, youth, and ,men striving to make Cameoon a wonderful place. Good luck, and blessing with your dreams and desires. Follow your heart!

Thank you!

Darren Bunton