By Macdonald Ayang, March 9, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – The fanfare that usually characterizes the International Women’s Day celebration in the North West and South West Regions was largely absent yesterday on the 8th edition of the event.
We learnt the not-so-impressive turnout of women at ceremonial grounds in major towns across the two English-speaking Regions was sequel to repeated calls for a boycott of the event.
The now outlawed consortium, it should be said, had in the build-up to the event, sent out a litany of messages calling on women in the Anglophone Regions to boycott the ceremony.
The banned consortium had said the boycott was to protest the suspension of internet services and the continuous detention of those arrested in relation to the Anglophone crisis which has seen schools and courts completely grounded in the Anglophone Regions.
However, the call for a boycott was not totally heeded as women groups especially of the public sector in towns such as Bamenda, Buea, Limbe, Kumba and Mamfe, showed up at ceremonial grounds, clad in their women’s day fabrics, and marched past, chanting songs and wielding banners.
In Bamenda, The Journal gathered that the march past segment of the event at the Commercial Avenue lasted just about 40 minutes with a few women groups marching, while curious onlookers could be spotted watching the parade from distant spots.
“The Regional Delegation of Secondary Educations that used to pull a mammoth crowd had only a few women participating” said a Bamenda-based reporter who stayed through the event yesterday.
He reported that it was mostly women of some financial institutions in the North West regional capital who were very conspicuous at the grandstand.
In Buea, a resident reporter who covered the event at the Independence Square said it grossly lacked the frenzy witnessed in years past. He, however, said a number of women groups, especially of government institutions and services, showed up and marched past.
Information gathered through telephone calls to other towns including Limbe, Mamfe, Tiko, Mutengene, Akwaya, Muyuka and Kumba, indicate that the event lacked the pump and electricity present in the previous years.
Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, First Lady, Chantal Biya, presided over festivities at the 20th May Boulevard.