Molyko, Southwest Region - Buea, Cameroon


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This study examine the different women institutions in Manyu and their contribution in the the economic socio-cultural and political development of  Manyu. It attempts to examine the motivating factors that shaped the existence of women institutions. The study holds that the forces such as, changing environment, patriarchy christianity and education was a thread to customs and traditional practice of women association in Manyu. The study posits that the growth of association owes much to the activities and roles of women associations.

The study has made good ample use of primary sources including, interviews, archival materials and secondary sources such as published books, journals  magazines, and the internet. The study adopted the historical mode consisting of qualitative analysis and the quantitative making use of percentages presented in a thematic and chronological manner.



Background of the study

The practice of women association is said to be old. It is an endeavour to promote mutual support and benefits amongst members of a particular kinsfolk not only in Manyu- Cameroon but also in Africa and the world at large. The case of Senegal, the traditional division of labour has shown women responsility in household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare. They are also responsible for a large share of agricultural work, including weeding and harvesting, for such common crops as rice. Women of the nobility used to be influential in political scenes. This is partly because matrilineage was the means for a prince to become king (particularly in the Wolof kingdoms). Such lingeer as Yacine Boubou, Ndate Yalla and her sister Njembeut Mbodji are hailed as inspirations for contemporary Senegalese women.

In recent decades, economic change and urbanization has led to many young men migrating to the cities, such as Dakar. Rural women have become increasingly involved in managing village forestry resources and operating millet and rice mills.The government’s rural development agency aims to organize village women and involve them more actively in the development process. Women play a prominent role in village health committees and prenatal and postnatal programs. In urban areas, despite women’s second-class status within Islam, cultural change has led to women entering the labour market as office and retail clerks, domestic workers and unskilled workers in textile mills and tuna-canning factories.

Many African nations including Cameroon ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the additional protocol. Cameroon is also a signatory of the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, which was adopted during the 2003 African Union Summit. However, Senegalese feminists have been critical of the government’s lack of action in enforcing the protocols, conventions and other texts that have been signed as a means of protecting women’s rights[1]

Before the coming of the Europeans, the Manyu society was regulated by both men and women  institutions which  ditermined societal stakes.

After the First World War that consequently brought about the defeat of the Germans from Cameroon Britain and France took area Ossindinge division. Ossindinge was later joined and administered as part Southern region of Nigeria between 1954-1991. In 1921, Britain change the name from Ossindinge to Mamfe. Later it was renamed Manyu after Manyu River. This modification was a result of the decree no 03/DF/250 of 3rd July 1968.[2]

However, chronic economic neglect on the women constituted the basis for which women association emerged as developmet agents able to register legally from the 1990s taking into consideration the fact that the Cameroon’s preamble for association creation compels members to share common belief, aspiration and interest embodied in their cultural heritage.

Statement of the problem

The state of affairs characterising the life of women in Manyu has been named with pervasive stereotypes that have labelled women as women as only homemakers,  caring mother’s and office housekeepers. This has given the women a new statue and therefore it has created an unfavorable environment for the women and consequently inhibiting their roles to development.

Moreso considering the fact that more writers center their writing mostly about male associations, portrays domination and creates and imbalance of data about the contributions of women association to development in Manyu

Objective of study

The main purpose of this study is to examine all the the multi-dimensional nature of different women associations in the Manyu community,  their unique contributions to development. It also aims at exploring the various forces that strained the life of women association and their difference motivations to developments.

The specific objectives of this study

More so it also intended to evaluating the impact of women association to development.

Lastly the study seeks to create a ata for the effective study of female associations.

Research Questions

How does the geo-historical background predisposes women to the formation of associations?

How do the different types of women association in Manyu operate various activities?

What are the various roles of women associations to development of Manyu ?

What are the multiple impacts of women association ?

What are the difficulties encountered by women association inorder to operate their the activities ?

Significance of study

The existence of numerous associatons in Manyu are inline with international stakes to empower women agencies and harnessing them as relevant forces to  enhance development not only in Manyu but also in Cameroon, African and the world.

This historical work is relevant in that it would add to the existing data base to facilitate an indepth study of cultural, nationa, religious and quarter associations and how they have contributed to development in Manyu Division


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