KIULJ Volume. 4, Issue 2 (2022)


Nchotu Veraline N. Minang Ph. D


Identity Individuality

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Reflections on the cleavages of identity and individuality of women in cameroon

Abstract: Abstract State formation is anchored on the premise of the protection of individual liberties of the entire human elements without any form of discrimination. Although the state does that overtly through the letter of the law, underlying issues oscillating around the identity and individuality of the Cameroonian woman subject her to challenges relating to her individual liberty. Even if it is waning in some parts of the world, it is still very potent in African society and more particularly in Cameroon. She is seen through the prism of the father’s identity in bearing his name and the way he exercises the parent/child authority over her goes beyond the way he does on her brother. At his demise, she tacitly remains under the control of the father’s successor, who usually is male and could be a brother or uncle irrespective of age, because she cannot succeed her father. At marriage, her identity is surreptitiously shared between both her “father” and her husband because she bears the two names. In a very subtle but fundamental way, naming defines power relations. Custom and tradition too, do not help much, even when some resilient women have braved legal processes to administer the estate of a father whose name they bear. Women’s advocates need to do more work on getting women’s daily experiences which may not be very visible as potential fertile breeding grounds for violence against women. There is a need for revision and/or abrogation of ambiguous laws that surreptitiously permit the perception of women through others’ lenses.