Young women and girls make up a considerable part of the population of the South West Region of Cameroon, yet they do not have equal access to health, education, economic opportunities and are not able to actively participate in decision making within their communities and the households in which they live. The prevalent socio-political situation in the Southwest and Northwest regions of Cameroon has unfortunately left young women and girls even more exposed to violence and discrimination. Women and children also make up the majority of internally displaced persons who have moved from more troubled zones in the Southwest region to the calmer areas like Limbe, Buea and Tiko. Consequently, lots of women have lost their means of subsistence and girls whose access to especially healthcare and education is considerably reduced, their personal and collective well-being being at stake.

The women and girls’ empowerment program of SODEI is designed to encourage the young women and girls in the Southwest region of Cameroon through knowledge sharing, counselling, coaching and leadership training. Women and girls in the Southwest region will be empowered to be independent, to be able to make important decisions about their personal well-being and to better play their roles as members of their community to foster peace and development. Through this program, SODEI aims to adopt an engendered approach to community development projects and also design strategies which will promote and strengthen equality between men and women and curb gender-based violence