Workshop for Women on Cultural Norms and its Effects on Gender

Hosted on 17 of August 2022

The workshop was organized by Dreamer Hope Foundation and the objective was about changing the statuesque between gender and culture thereby strengthening community resilience to combat gender-based violence. This workshop was attended by 30 participants made up of faith based Group.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Jessica and Ms. Palvin who are gender student from the University of Buea.

The workshop began at about 2pm after the groups meeting.  A welcomed speech was done by the president of the group followed by an introduction from Ms. Beltha who introduced the organized as well as the entire. A group picture was taken with participant. The first presentation was on Key Concepts of GBV, introduction to GBV, definition of GBV, Causes and effects.

 The facilitator went on to discuss on the various ways culture affects gender. Firstly she made mention of Domestic behaviors, she explain that based on our cultural norms women are assigned to specific roles at home because of their gender, secondly ownership of land, women are not considered to properties because of their gender.  She went further to talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) carried out on the girl child presentation, early marriages etc. was We had discussions as to how different services respond to GBV and recommendations on how to combat GBV practices in our community. Some recommendations include, more sensitization in communities and churches, advocate for adjustments on laws for perpetrators and proper implementation of the law by the police and courts, equally opportunities to children, changing our mindset.

The workshop ended at  about 4:30pm .    


Annex 1: Detail Presentation


Topic: How Cultural norms affects Gender

 Gender refers to characteristics, roles and behaviors attributed to men, women, boys and girls that are socially constructed. It varies from one society to another and changes over time.

 – Cultural norms refers to rules or expectations of behavior in thought based on shared beliefs within a specific cultural or social group. There are several ways in which cultural norms affects gender;

 – Domestic behaviors; based on cultural norms, women have been confined to the domestic sphere. They are expected to carry out care giving roles, cooking, cleaning and other household chores.

– Occupation and physical appearance; women have been termed to carry out jobs like nurses, cleaners. Women are barely seen as landlady’s, chiefs or head of cultural meetings. Also, women are expected to be soft and calm in nature. They are seen to be soft, welcoming and emotional while men are more agile and aggressive.

 -Ownership of land; most cultures exempt women from owning land. They only have usufruct rights to their husbands or relatives’ land.

– Children’s education; Cameroon has made strides in recent years to improve its education system, helping more and more children to break the poverty cycle. It currently has a record number of children enrolled in its school system which is amongst the highest in West Africa. However, despite this, there is still a widely notable gender gap. Between the ages of 6 and 14, only 80% of girls attend school in comparison to 94% of boys. In Cameroon, it is thought that the main reason girls are missing out on an education is based on cultural expectations. It is the female children that are expected to help take care of the family and support around the house. In Cameroon, secondary education is not currently free and therefore, when faced with a choice, many families believe it’s more worthwhile to pay for a male child’s education and prepare their daughters for marriage. As cultural beliefs mean girls will inevitably become wives and mothers, with other duties besides work, a boys education takes priority. It has more financial benefit to the family to invest in the child that will go out to work.

Cultural practices like Female genital mutilation (FGM) this practice is done by cutting off the clitoris which is that internal part of a woman’s Virginal where pleasure is derived from this is done for no medical reasons.


most of the reasons why some traditions do this is because

  • They do this for girls at an early age not to feel any sexual urge to prevent promiscuity in their community.
  • They do it to avoid sex before marriage because in some traditions a girl is not supposed to have sex before marriage.

This culture is mostly done by older women community who know a mastery of what they do this practice was done in order to help those young girls but they didn’t know it will have an effect on them and some of the effects are,


  • Most circumstanced girls do not satisfy their husbands in their marriage because of the practice carried out on her she has lost appetite for sex and cannot satisfy her husband and this can lead to divorce or her husband can go out to cheat.


  • Another effect is unnecessary discharges, some girls who this practice are carried on, have abnormal discharges which makes them have body odor and they cannot freely walk around the community because most people will reject them because of the odor and it’s all because of the circumcision carried out.


  • This act was mostly done using objects like broken bottles, sharpened stones and these things used were not sterilized and it caused excessive bleeding and illnesses like HIV and infections

Women are circumcised to reduce their sexual pleasure whereas men are circumcised to increase their sexual pleasure. So, we most put an end to these cultural practices that destroys women but rather try to see how we can stand as women to be equally in every aspect and to take part in every activity or be in any position we shouldn’t look down on ourselves because what a man can do a women can do better.