Cameroon Urges Women to Vote
Community groups, political parties and the government in Cameroon have been appealing to women to vote in elections on Sunday. They are telling the women not to fear threats made by separatist groups. The separatists claim they will stop the local and parliamentary elections.
Female candidates and women who campaigned for other candidates fear their efforts may lead to nothing at all if women do not come out to vote.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations and government ministries joined political parties at campaign events in the capital city, Yaounde. They say they did this as part of a special campaign for women to perform their civic duties.
Alvine Yinda is a candidate of the Cameroon People Democratic Movement. She told VOA she likes the appeal to women because if they fail to vote on Election Day, men hold an unfair advantage.
Yinda said that her party's female candidates decided to urge all women who are registered to come out to vote on February 9. She says they are working with all the political parties to make sure women take part in the decision-making process.
Mumah Bih Yvonne is national coordinator of the non-governmental organization Cameroon Women's Peace Movement. She says its goal is for women to support lists that have a majority of female candidates.
"Women have a different way of looking at governance. But if we are not there to influence policies, how do we get that level playing ground that we (women) are looking for," she asked.
Women historically underrepresented
The president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, called the elections last November. Before then, groups of women led by the NGO More Women in Politics visited towns and villages asking women to compete for political office.
Traditionally, many women do not vote because their husband or their communities limit their participation. Some women fail to vote because they are unable to read or write.
This year, some observers fear the number of female voters will decrease because of a separatist conflict in Cameroon's Northwest and Southwest. Armed groups are fighting to separate English-speaking areas from the French-speaking majority country. At least 3,000 have died in the fighting.
Most voters in the Northwest and Southwest have moved to safer areas. The election commission says it has taken special measures to make sure they can vote on Sunday.
Within the past week, two political parties reported that the separatists attacked four campaign teams and kidnapped at least 20 people.
More than 40 percent of Cameroon's nearly nine million voters are female. Women make up about 52 percent of the population.
But just 31 percent of the 180 lawmakers at the National Assembly and 21 percent of the senators are women.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.make up 化妆；组成
She spent too much time making herself up.
2.make sure 确信
Whatever you are writing make sure you are clear, concise, and accurate.
3.at least 至少
He's been away for at least a week.
4.political parties 政党
Time and again political parties have failed to tackle this issue.
5.She says they are working with all the political parties to make sure women take part in the decision-making process.
take part in 参加
You don't need strength to take part in this sport
They returned to take part in the season's opening game.
6.The election commission says it has taken special measures to make sure they can vote on Sunday.
take measures to 采取措施
It is urgent that government and experts take measures to solve these problems.
We must take measures to control it.
喀麦隆的社区团体、政党和政府一直呼吁妇女参与周日的选举投票 。他们告诉这些妇女不要担心分离主义组织的威胁 。分裂分子声称他们将阻止地方和议会选举 。
非政府组织和政府各部门的代表参加了在首都雅温得举行的竞选活动 。他们表示，这样做是为了让妇女履行公民义务 。
Alvine Yinda是喀麦隆人民民主运动的候选人 。她对美国之音表示，她赞成呼吁妇女参与投票的做法，因为如果她们没有参与选举日的投票，那么男性就会占据不公平的优势 。
Yinda表示，她所在政党的女性候选人决定呼吁所有登记的妇女在2月9日站出来投票 。她说，他们正在与所有政党合作，确保女性参与这一决策过程 。
Mumah Bih Yvonne是非政府组织“喀麦隆妇女和平运动”的国家协调员 。她说，该组织的目标是让妇女支持女性候选人占多数的名单 。
喀麦隆总统保罗·比亚(Paul Biya)在去年11月呼吁举行选举 。在此之前，由非政府组织“更多女性参政”(More women in Politics)领导的妇女团体访问了城镇和村庄，要求妇女参与政治职位的竞争 。
传统上，许多妇女不投票是因为她们的丈夫或其所在社区限制了她们的参与 。有些妇女因为不会读写而无法投票 。
今年，一些观察人士担心，由于喀麦隆西北部和西南部的分离主义冲突，女性选民的数量将会减少 。武装组织正在将讲英语的地区与这个以法语为主的国家分裂开来 。至少3000人在战斗中丧生 。
西北部和西南部的大多数选民已经转移到安全地区 。选举委员会表示，他们已经采取了特殊措施，以确保这些人能在周日投票 。
喀麦隆将近900万选民中，40%以上为女性 。而妇女约占人口的52% 。