Community Research and Development Center

Anye Amandine Ngum, 2013, "Gender and politics: women in the struggle for independence and reunification in the Bamenda grassfields 1958-2011" (Master Thesis in history, University of Ngaoundere)


 The anticipated celebration of the independence and reunification of Cameroon opened a huge debate on the contribution of women especially those of the British Southern Cameroons who were directly concerned with it. Many are of the opinion that the women played only "behind the scenes" roles and that is why their contribution was not perceived. However, in the Bamenda Grassfields which voted massively for the reunification option, it was discovered that the women, both the village subalterns and the elite, through overt actions, contributed much to the success of this great event in the territory. Although the Igbo domination could be said to have contributed much to the choice of these women in the Bamenda Grassfields, the influence of the male politicians could not be left out. Fifty years after, the protagonists of the reunification seem to be disappointed as some of the terms arrived at during the Fumban Conference are still to be implemented. This has created an atmosphere of discontent in the Bamenda Grassfields and most of these women have responded by belonging to rival organizations which are clamouring for the independence of the British Southern Cameroons. The delayance of this celebration which was supposed to have taken place in 2011 has gone a long way to strengthen the views of those who think that the country was never reunited in the first place.

Key words: Independence, reunification, subalterns, elite

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