Cameroon – From Where I Stand – Awaho Talla
Yoko, Cameroon, December 2018.
From where I stand: “I’m the first woman in my family to own property”
Awaho Talla is the first woman in her family to own land. Next, she plans on building a house that she can rent to supplement her income. In her tribe, socio-economic status is often determined by the number of cattle they own and women rarely own property or have decision-making powers in the family. But times are changing..
“I am a Fulbe woman from the indigenous Mbororo people. My husband has four wives, it’s a cultural thing.
When UN Women brought this project to support women in getting land titles, the Yoko Council selected me among the beneficiaries. I will get a 400-square-meter plot where I can build my house.
I am the first woman in my family to own property. It’s important to have land and property under my name because in our tribe, the men take at least four wives and it’s the responsibility of the women to secure a future for themselves and their children. Now that I have property, I can take care of my own children.
I’ve taught my daughters about the importance of having property under their own name as well. My daughters were married by the time they were 14 or 15 years old. Their father decided that they should get married. Me, their mother had no say in this. the women are not consulted in family decisions.
Now I understand the importance of education. Because I didn’t go to school, I cannot speak French and I cannot communicate with others.
But I am very happy about the land title. No one can see the joy in my heart…It’s a very big achievement!”
Awaho Talla, 37 years old and a mother of five is from the indigenous Mbororo tribe, living in the remote town of Yoko, in the Central Region of Cameroon. The town is located along the “Gender Road project”, being implemented by UN Women with financial support from The Development Bank of Central African States. It aims to empower women living along the 250 Km road that the Cameroonian government is building. Once the road is complete, it has the potential of connecting women farmers and entrepreneurs to markets and services, and the project is providing them with skills and facilitating land rights and access to capital. Talla’s story shows the importance of sustainable infrastructure (SDG 9), ending poverty, including through access to land and property (SDG 1) and economic empowerment of all women (SDG 8).
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo taken on 17 Dec 2018. Published on Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence.