Prof. F Nelson

Abortion And Gender-based Violence Are Intricately Linked- Sogoc

Prof. Fomulu Nelson, Vice-president of Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Cameroon, Sogoc, has maintained that abortion authorization in Cameroon is interwoven with gender-based violence.

It is against this backdrop that Sogoc joined the world to shine the light on ending gender-based and its adverse effects on the health of the Cameroonian woman.

The theme is “Orange the world, end gender-based violence now”.

One of the messages from Sogoc is, ‘I survived rape but I don’t want to have a child from rape’.

Rape is a product of gender-based violence- qualified as sexual violence and a major reason some women opt for abortion.

According to Barrister Joyce Chefu, “legal abortion is complicated, long and cumbersome as the court needs to established that a survivor was raped and a court judgment delivered to attest rape. It is the judgment which authorizes the medical professional to carry out an abortion”.

Chefu says, “A normal criminal day is long, cases are adjourned within a month and most cases not heard, a normal file can take three months to have a decision rendered in a local setting and more where there are many litigations, but in town it may take six months”.

This is the reasons, Dr Filbert Eko Eko, Reproductive health expert, a member of, SOGOC, laments that the long and cumbersome procedure encourages back street abortion as victims seek the easy way from unqualified doctors.

Statistics from SOGOC indicate that 30% of maternal deaths in Cameroon are linked to unsafe abortions.

It is within this context that Sogoc Vice-president, Prof Fomulu Nelson maintained that abortion authorization in Cameroon is inter-woven with gender-based violence and cannot be treated in isolation.

Violence against women remains one of the most widespread human rights violations yet one of the least prosecuted crimes, Fomulu lamented

He argues that though equality between women and men is guaranteed in the Cameroon constitution, very often women are denied justice and protection from violence.

Fomulu says justice denial does not stem from a lack of knowledge but rather, lack of investment and political will to meet women’s needs and protect their fundamental rights.

He stressed that prevalence of gender-based violence is linked with sexual and reproductive health rights. Gender- based violence is experienced in different forms such as domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation) have devastating consequences on reproductive health women yet not carefully considered.

Sogoc launched activities to mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with the media on October 26 with awareness walk in Bastos, Yaoundé.

 

 

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