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Make Your Voice Heard: United Against Gun Violence for Peace

The Africa We Want protects children, protects women, protects men and protects our youth. During the Global Week of action against gun violence, the Cameroon Youths and Student Forum for Peace-CAMYOSFOP joined the International Action Network on Small Arms-IANSA, UN Regional Centre for Peace and Development-UNREC, Cameroon Action Network Against SALW-CANSA amongst others to speak against gun violence from 31st May-4th June 2021, in Yaounde Cameroon.

CAMYOSFOP Staff advocating against gun violence during WoA

CAMYOSFOP Staff advocating against gun violence during WoA

CAMYOSFOP has been a lead organization in the planning of the Global Week of Actions against Armed Violence and hence she took part in the event that was commemorated under the theme: “Make Your Voice Heard –United Against Gun Violence” aimed at continuing the decades of collective action that this initiative was built on. 

The proliferation, misuse and slack regulations of arms continuously endanger our communities, and more specifically, women and children. Thus women should be included in peace building and small arms control initiatives. The Sustainable Development Goal 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies hence women should not be undermined.

As civil society, the Global Week of Action helps to build links between civil society and individuals who long for peace, and recognize the urgent need to end gun violence and human suffering globally. IANSA during this year’s campaign provided resources for members and supporters to make their voice heard, such as; a social media toolkit to spread awareness, a video with a discussion guide to spark important conversations on why gender matters if we want to reduce gun violence and live in peace, and postcard templates to mail to government officials. The video focuses on four main themes:

  • Gender equality
  • Gender-based violence
  • Gender mainstreaming in small arms and light weapons controls
  • Women’s participation in SALW control processes
Action cture against Gun Violence WoA with different stakeholders

CAMYOSFOP alongside CANSA from May 31 – June 4, 2021, engaged in media campaigns, conferences and awareness raising for members to collaborate and work collectively to advocate for:

  • more effective regulation of guns and ammunition, 
  • to disarm domestic violence, 
  • include more voices in finding solutions to gun violence, 
  • and support survivors of gun violence.

We remembered the extraordinary survivors of gun violence for their resilience strength and commitment that teaches us to not give up despite the challenges. Armed conflicts continue to undermine the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and minorities, especially when it comes to participating in decisions that impact their lives and communities as they are mostly vulnerable. They have been increased vulnerability to climate and environmental risks with wide-ranging effects on health and human suffering. CAMYOSFOP and her partners encourages women and all to take action and empower more women to claim leadership to reduce the illicit flow and misuse of arms.

It is time to advocate collectively for stronger small arms control policies as we come to the end of the Seventh Biennial Meeting of States (BMS7) on the UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) SALW. https://iansa.org/global-week-of-action-2021/

CAMYOSFOP has worked in partnership with IANSA (Since 2003), UNREC, Control Arms Coalition, Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms, Institute of Security Studies, Regional Centre on Small Arms for the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa (RECSA), Pan African Strategy and Peace Research Group (PANAFSTRAG), Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) in promoting the implementation of the UNPoA SALW. This has positioned her as a lead organization on the fight against SALW in Cameroon and the Central Africa Sub Region.

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