YAOUNDE, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon's Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Atanga Nji on Wednesday praised traditional rulers in three northern regions of the country for appointing women for the first time ever to head important traditional positions.
"This is an innovation. Everybody knows that chieftaincy is a kind of conservative organization in Cameroon and even in Africa reserved for men. But for once some traditional leaders have agreed to appoint women to work with them, I think this is a very good example," Nji said here during a ceremony to reward the rulers.
The occasion, attended by diplomatic representatives in Cameroon, was a chance to show Cameroon's "unflinching" drive to enhance women empowerment and emancipation, he added.
"This is a clear sign that women are treated equally in Cameroon. The women notables should work hand in hand with their traditional leaders so that others who are still reticent can follow the same initiative," Nji said.
According to officials, women's rights and freedoms have been undermined over the years in the three northern regions of Far North, North, and Adamawa.
But the new move could be a game-changer, Nji said.