Protocol watch


Cameroon signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’  Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 25th of July 2006 and ratified it six years later on the 13th of September 2012. The Republic of Cameroon was created in 1961 with the merge of the former French Cameroon and British Cameroon. Cameroon is considered to be one of the more stable countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. The percentage of women in the political institutions of the country remains significantly low, only few women are represented in the government. Violence against women is widespread in Cameroon; an estimated 53% of women experience physical violence, in most of the cases the husbands are the perpetrators.


Penal Code Law no 2016/007 of 12 July 2016: “The amendment of the Penal Code in 2016 served to expand the existing range of forms of violence against women that are classified as criminal offences. Consequently, female genital mutilation, interference with organ growth (including the practice of breast ironing), sexual harassment and expulsion from the marital home are now punishable offences. Moreover, a rapist or abductor who goes on to marry his or her victim is no longer exempt from criminal prosecution.”


Creation of Cohesion Spaces for Women, inclusive of Internally Displaced and Refugee Women.


Cameroon enacted legislation protecting women from sexual harassment in employment and adopted criminal penalties for sexual harassment in employment.


Cameroon established new structures for the care of survivors of violence based on gender including 10 reception centres for women in distress with call centres within the CPFF and 10 gender desks in the police stations,


The Parliamentarians’ Network for Gender Advancement Network launched in 2020 and adopted an action plan and budget in December of 2020. They aim to maintain the gender ranking tool that the Government will use to strengthen its advocacy strategy in favour of governance inclusiveness and the fight against discrimination against women in public life.


National Report 2018, Discussion of 2016 Penal Code on pg 12, available at:

World Bank, ‘Reforms – Cameroon’, available at: 

Creation of Cohesion Spaces for Women, information available at:….pdf 

Beijing +25 Report (2019) ‘Cameroon’, information on reception and call centres and police gender desks on page 12, available at: 

Cameroon Tribune (2020) ‘Female Parliamentarians of Cameroon: Network Adopts Action Plan, Budget’, available at: