The 36th edition of the International Women’s Day was celebrated under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. This was commemorated at the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts with a number of activities, including a charity visit, a conference-debate and an educational talk followed by a training workshop on the manufacture of hydro-alcoholic solution.
The female staff of MINPMEESA, in a restricted delegation due to the current pandemic, went on 4 March 2021 to the bedside of the residents of the Cardinal Paul Emile Leger National Rehabilitation Centre for People with Disabilities (NRCPD). Mrs Annie EBELLE, Head of MINPMEESA delegation, began by thanking the Technical Advisor of the NRCPD who represented the General Manager of the NRCPD, as well as the entire staff of this structure for the warm welcome they received. She recalled that “it is with great joy that the women of MINPMEESA have chosen to live this moment of communion and sharing with them within the framework of the celebration of the IWD”. “Our presence here today is essentially symbolic. We sincerely hope that the Most High who is using us today, will Himself fill the void in our lives and assist your various patients,” she said as she officially handed over the package consisting of, among other things, hygiene materials, foodstuffs and an envelope that will be used to support medical care for some of their patients. She asked them to receive their visit as a wink from Divine Providence to urge them to remain strong, courageous, dedicated and serene in their services, despite the many difficulties they face daily. She wished the residents to stay strong.
On 5 March, a conference-debate on the theme “Female entrepreneurship in the face of the pandemic at COVID-19” was held at the Yaoundé International Handicrafts Centre. Mr François TSANGA, Head of the Studies and Prospective Unit, presented the impact of the pandemic on women’s activities, both in terms of negative and positive effects. It should be noted, any crisis has a positive effect to be capitalised on. The women were also informed about some ways to revive the economy in the light of the resurgence of the disease.
At the end of his presentation, Mr TSANGA recalled that entrepreneurship in its entirety and women entrepreneurship in particular have been hit hard by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that “Without being a fatality to the development of their activities, it has also proved to be an opportunity for certain sectors of activity. To ensure the resilience of SMEs, a certain number of reforms are necessary on the part of both the public authorities and the SMEs, which will have to demonstrate engineering to ensure their survival”.
The educational talk took place on 8 March, under the theme “How to reconcile work and family life for an equal world”. It marked the final articulation of IWD activities. It brought together women from MINPMEESA and its targets at the Yaoundé International Handicraft Centre. It was a question for the women of MINPMEESA of sharing their experiences, exploiting and capitalising on the tips of each other to improve what is already done.
Mrs NGO NKOT, Sub-Director at the Legal Affairs Division at MINPMEESA, moderator of the exchanges stressed “At the end of these exchanges, we can say that it is difficult to find a standard plan to reconcile professional and family life. Each woman should manage these two roles according to her own realities”. Thanking the ladies for their participation and contributions, she invited them to support each other and cultivate leadership.
A training workshop on the manufacture of hydro-alcoholic solution was offered to the ladies, followed by the presentation of certificates following the training seminar on the manufacture of liquid soap, bleach and vinegar, held on 3 March 2021 at the MINPMEESA Regional Delegation for the Centre.