On December 10, the U.S. Embassy marked International Human Rights Day and the conclusion of the 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence campaign by hosting a discussion with acclaimed Cameroonian author Djaili Amadou Amal about her advocacy for women and girls’ rights in the Sahel region. Mrs. Amal highlighted how socio-cultural and economic constraints lead to gender-based violence, sharing excerpts from her recent book, Munyal, to highlight the personal experiences of women and girls in the region. A cross-section of NGO leaders, academics, government representatives, and members of the diplomatic corps discussed strategies to protect women’s rights and girls’ access to education, factors necessary for women in the Sahel to reach their full potential and contribute to Cameroon’s development, stability, and prosperity.
Mrs. Amal was the beneficiary of a U.S. Embassy exchange program in 2012, the International Visitors Leadership Program. Upon returning to Cameroon, she decided to further her contribution to women’s development and founded Femmes du Sahel, a non-profit association that promotes women’s rights and girls’ education. This is one of the many ways the United States supports those working to advance human rights, and we applaud all those in Cameroon working to end forced marriage, child marriage, rape, and other human rights violations.