Research Key

The Protection of Women’s rights to employment in Cameroon

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The study deals with the protection of women are right to employment in Cameroon. Women are considered the back born of the society that helps in the fast growth of the economy. Consequently, there are laws which protect women right to work in Cameroon on are international as well as national. Such as UDHR, CEDAW, African Charter as well as the Cameroon constitution and the labour code. However, in reality most women still remain unemployed because of the practical violations of the above instruments protecting their right to work. This work adopted the doctrinal research method wherein both primary as well as secondary sources of information were analyzed.  Findings show that, discrimination still exists between men and women in the domain of employment due to some repugnant Cultures, believe and gender bias that exist in the society. The study therefore recommends that people who violate women’s rights to employment be punish. And women in the society should be given equal opportunity to participate in the employment sector. Also, the law should protect women and punish men who sexually harassed women at their job side. The laws which are adopted and rectified should strongly protect women’s right to employment.




In a masculine dominated society, women right have been misunderstood because cultural, customary practices and beliefs which encouraged discrimination against women relying on traditional gender rules and child care respectively. Some employers assume that female employees are less dependable than male employees. The idea of the quality of sexes in employment is foreign in Cameroon native laws and customs. Most entrepreneurs believe that females are inferior to the male counterpart and incompatible with a fast-paced business environment. Discrimination against women in Cameroon is so visible. Primarily, given the high level of illiteracy and lack of skills amongst women compared to men. There exists nexus between human right and employment opportunities such as right to life and human dignity as enshrined in the preamble of the Cameroon constitution. Cameroon and other nations globally promulgated laws which further prohibit gender-based discrimination; such as the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).[1] “However, the applicable laws have not provided any succor to womanhood. The vulnerability of Cameroonian Women is an incontestable fact despite the ratification of Cameroon of a number of International treaties which sanction gender discrimination and unequal access to education, health care, inadequate housing and employment. In all legal tradition many laws continue to institutionalize the second-class status for women and girls with regards to Nationality citizenship, moral right, employment right, inheritance and property right.[2] This research examines discrimination as regard to employment. Its historical antecedent and how the law protects women’s right to employment in Cameroon.


Cameroon like most countries around the globe has made some major commendable efforts regarding the issue of gender equality and women employment. The whole notion of gender equality derived from the injustice of women across the world. This is as a result of custom. In Cameroon, women are facing threats of their lives and given that they are overburdened with house and farm work. Women’s ability and knowledge are usually not recognized in the effort towards sustainable development. Most women especially those in the rural areas do not have the right and personal political and social opinion. Their right to own properties is most at times checked through the use of customary laws and cultural practices. For example, in the case ofAchu v. Achu[3]1986 and also the famous case of Chibikom Peter Fru and 4 others v. Zamcho Florence Lum[4], (1973).[5] The government of Cameroon has identified the multilateral effort to employ women and has taken some measures at the national level. It encourages that gender equality as far as employment is concerned should be made realistic in Cameroon. Many non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) have been formed to protect women’s right to employment. There exists a ministry of women’s affairs which supposed to focus on issues affecting women in the Cameroonian society.

However, though the picture painted of the government of Cameroon concerning gender equality, the women employment is smack of a level of commitment on the part of the government. There is still a lot of ground that the government has to cover. Many things still stand on the way of the Cameroonian to have ground of parity with Cameroonian men. Some of these are both institutional and traditional.

Some customs violate the right of women to employment in Cameroon. For example, the Muslim cultures. Women under the Muslim culture are relegated in the kitchen and as such, they have little or no contribution in family wellbeing as well as their personal development.

There exist just little opportunities to engage women in employment. This is because most women are dependent on their husbands. Women have been relegated behind in certain professions like the BIR. Even in appointment positions, women are rarely appointed to serve the public. This goes a long way to restrict their employment opportunities.


The research questions are divided into the general and specific questions.

1.3.1. General Question

To what extent does the law protect women’s right to employment opportunities in Cameroon?

1.3.2. Specific Questions

  • What legal framework protect women’s right to employment in Cameroon?
  • What Institutional framework protect women’s right to employment in Cameroon?
  • What are the challenges hindering women’s right to employment in Cameroon?
  • What policy recommendation can be made to effectively protect women’s right to employment in Cameroon?


The objectives are divided into the general and specific objectives.

1.4.1 General objectives.

To critically examine the extent to which the law protects women right to employment in Cameroon.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives.

  • To analyse the legal framework protecting women right to employment in Cameroon.
  • To examine the institutional framework for the protection of women right to employment.
  • To assess the challenges hindering the effective protection of women’s right to employment in Cameroon.
  • To propose policy recommendations to change the plight of women in relation to employment.

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