The Effect of Anglophone War and Arm Conflict on Women and Children in the Northern Part (Bwitingi, Muea, Bomaka) Of the Buea Municipality

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Effect of Anglophone War and Arm Conflict on Women and Children in the Northern Part (Bwitingi, Muea, Bomaka) Of the Buea Municipality

Department: Gender Studies

No of Pages: 51

Project Code: GS8

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

 : $15 for International students

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Women and children are the future of every nation, economy and the world at large. With the increase in the conflicts worldwide in critical areas like Israel, Iraq, Iran and other countries their future is threatened.


Conflicts ranging from political, economic and territorial issues have taken up central stage and whatever cause and form of conflict women and children are always affected.  Many of these conflicts are influenced by greed, personal interest, injustice and ill-treatment of minority groups.


The current study sought to investigate or determine the causes of armed conflict, its effects on women and children and the coping strategies employed to combat the situation. The study used a descriptive research design and the target population was women and children in the Northern part of the Buea municipality.


The study used Random probability sampling to select 50 women respondents, and primary data was collected using questionnaires through cross validation making spatial use of content analysis, while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics (SPSS).



The data was presented through percentages, pie charts, tables and graphs. The study found out that women and children suffer emotional, social, financial, physical, and psychological and even educationally due to war and armed conflict than any other group.


They suffer more even though they do not initiate or take part in armed conflicts, this study further recommends that women themselves initiate, negotiate and be active participants in peace talks, conflict prevention and resolution same to the government and NGO’s




1.1 Background of the study

Unlike men, children and women are more prone to all types of negligence and exploitation in warring environment and conflict zones. It is undoubtedly true that, we can provide an avenue for such exploitation when need today’s world, one form or another type of conflict does exist, UNIFEM (2015).


War has always been part of human experience and it is undoubtedly evident in all over the world in various forms. Every year millions of people lose their lives of suffer fatal to non-fatal injuries as a result of armed conflict and war, which ends up violating women and children.

United nations development fund for women, (UNIFEM), (2015), reveals that, more than 70% of war casualties are civilians, most of whom are women and children. These conflicts are intra-state, non-state and extra-state conflicts (Mabuka A and Bukaliya 2015).


According to international law, war in principle can only take place between sovereign political entities; war is thus a means for resolving differences between units of higher order of political organization.


The majority of those who have been concerned with war as a socio-political phenomenon have also adopted as their basic premise that there is a difference between domestic and international conflicts.


Sore, (1992) defined war as a political act by means of which states unable to adjust to disputes regarding their obligations, rights and interest, resort to armed force to decide which is the strongest and may therefore, impose its will on others.



Armed conflict on its part to the Use of Force Committee USA (2008), cited by O’Connell (2009), is defined as the presence of organized groups that are engaged in intense fighting. While Stewart, (2003), defines armed conflict as organized collective violent confrontation between at least two groups, either state or non-state actors.

Hazen, (2008), identified armed conflict as the intentional use of illegitimate force (actual or threatened) with arms or explosives against a person, group, community or state, which undermines people’s security and/ or sustainable development.


The world has suffered a number of wars and conflicts over the past sixty years. SUMMERFIELD, (1995), reports that, there has been an estimate of 150 wars in the developing world since World War 2, which left about 22million people dead.


Enough have been known about war and armed conflict but its effects on women and children have not been addressed to liberate women and children as the main victims especially in Africa.


Africa, Asia, USA and the Middle East have always been amongst the conflicting regions with countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi being the limelight of conflict.


While Somalia and Eretria on the other hand, have been in turmoil. In Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been fighting for the so called insurgent and the protracted conflict has created unbearable conditions for women and children.


The USA is not left out as conflicts have been witnessed in states like Nicaragua, Cambodia just to name a few. Snoubar and Duman, (2015), pointed out the neglect of women and children most especially in war zones because there are no proper arms to protect them.


Added to this, women and girls are tortured, killed, injured, disabled and even targeted as tools for attack. They suffer psychological trauma as love ones die or witness their killings, violence before and after combats zones, are heightened at risk of diseases including sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and HIV/AIDS.


They join or are forced to join armed groups, overburdened with caring of the wounded, sick and the displaced. Teenage girls are victims of teenage pregnancy, have poor ante-natal conditions and delivery, as not up to 15% of births in war zones are attended to by midwives.


Even though women and children do not engage in war, the impact is felt by them. The UN Platform for Action (1995) describes how women and girls are mostly affected by war and armed conflicts because of their unequal status and sex.


Seifert (1993) points out that, if anyone intends to destroy a culture women are the tactical targets of special significance because of their important role in the family structure (procreation). They risk their lives by crossing fields and braving shelling and bombing, while seeking for food, water and fuel wood, (Gardan 1997).

 Even though they do not often involve in decisions leading to war or its end, women still play important roles in nurturing values of reconciliation in their children (El-Bushra and Lopez, 1994).



 In recent years, internal conflicts have erupted in countries of the world and Cameroon is no exception.


The, (2019), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO and UNCHCR reports on Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis have revealed that at least 4 million people are affected, 1.3 million in need, 160000 people targeted, 437,500 internally displaced, 330,000 others in need and more than 50% of them are women and children.



Despite the lack and ineffectiveness of the available arms, non-governmental organizations ( NGO’s) have played an important role for years, in providing social services for women and children in war zones, the AYAH foundation in Cameroon is one of such organizations caring for the displaced in this period, many of whom are women and children.


This study is built on the premise that women and children suffer more from war and armed conflicts than any other group, be it from the physical, emotional, psychological and social angles as they become recipients of aid and other things that can sustain them and their families during war and conflicts.


1.2 Statement of the Problem.

Women constitute more than 50% of the world’s population, but gender norms, roles, culture and values have placed them in an angle of low power relations in all spheres and aspects of the society.


Women in conflict zones are forced to go outside what is defined by society as their domain to ensure safety and protection of their children and loved ones, even though they are prone to all kinds of exploitation.


In the year 2000, the UN Security Council adopted the ground breaking resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. It recognized that war impact women differently and reaffirms the need to increase women’s role in decision making related to conflict prevention and resolution.


The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in 1995 by 189 UN member states made women and armed conflict an area of concern amongst the 12 critical areas of concern outlined.


However, understanding the magnitude of the social, health, psychological, emotional, economic and physical (violent) effects of war and armed conflicts on women will provide a solid foundation for building programs of appropriate designs, size and scope to assist women in war and conflict zones all over the world.


Statistics shows that women in third world countries are exposed to higher levels of marginalization and are forced to take part in certain aspects of war and armed conflicts. They participate in acts of violence and armed conflicts, hence, are exposed to killings.


They also suffer from poverty, malnutrition and deteriorating health situations and are victims of internally displaced and externally displaced persons during war and are often separated from the rest of the family hence homelessness.


They are vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation, and psychological trauma, single headed households due to loss of husband, which forces them to work for very long hours, for low salaries, poor working conditions and vulnerable to different kinds of exploitation.


Children on the other hand, are neglected during and after events of war and armed conflicts, malnourished, remain open to all kinds of abuse especially sexual abuse, trafficking and abduction.


(Derek Summerfield, 1990), Women as mothers and family organizers are direct victims of violence especially sexual abuse and rape which is a common tactic in conflict. Also, Women are targeted through the victimization of their children or other family members so that, or though they may remain physically unharmed they still suffer the consequences.


It is against this background that this study intends to investigate the effects of the North West and south West war and armed conflict on women and children in the Northern area of the Buea municipality.


 1.3 Objectives of the study

1.3.1 Main Objectives

  • The main objective  of this study is to determine the effect of the North West and South West war and armed conflict on women and children in the Northern area of the Buea municipality (Muea, Bomaka and Bwitingi).


1.3.2 Specific Objectives

  • To identify the demographic characteristics of the respondents.
  • To examine the causes of armed conflicts.
  • To determine the effects of war and armed conflicts on women and children in the Northern area of the Buea municipality.
  • To identify the coping strategies of women and children during war and armed conflicts in the Northern area of the Buea municipality


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