Yellow Ribbon Campaign For More Women in Councils and Parliament this 2012

Yellow Ribbon Campaign for More Women on Councils in 2012

This year all women, and men who support women, are encouraged to take part in our “Yellow Ribbon Campaign for More Women on Councils”.

All women and men who support having more women in councils are encouraged to wear a yellow ribbon pinned to their dress. The yellow ribbon will be worn on Women’s Day and continue to be worn until the 2012 elections (July), particularly at meetings and occasions.

The message for this campaign is

Wear the yellow ribbon to support more women on your council.

This campaign links up with the existing campaign to Mobilise Women, Youth and Minority Candidates for the 2012 elections by showing widespread support for more women on councils and encouraging more potential candidates to come forward. COMINSUD is also mobilising people to volunteer to be election observers.

The success of the Yellow Ribbon Campaign is depending on every person to mobilise masses of people to wear the Yellow Ribbon. Decision makers will only take notice if thousands of people wear the Yellow Ribbon.

Things to do BEFORE Women’s Day

1. Understand the campaign very well by reading this information.
2. Meet with church leaders in your community: talk about the campaign, give a yellow ribbon, ask them to wear the yellow ribbon AND encourage others to wear the ribbon.
3. Meet with all Women’s Groups in your area: talk about the campaign and ask them to arrange and wear yellow ribbons on their dress for Women’s Day and other meetings and occasions. Encourage groups that will march to make their own posters with the example messages. Many different groups wearing the ribbon and showing the same messages when marching will have the most impact with the people watching.
4. If you or someone you know is speaking on the Women’s Day Programme or other occasions let her/him know about the campaign and/or give the Information for Speakers page
5. Make posters and arrange a group of at least 20 Women to march on Women’s Day carrying posters (see the examples for posters)
6. Consider having some pins and yellow ribbon to give/sell on Women’s Day.
7. Organise a local round table discussion on a topic like “What More Women on Our Council will mean”
8. Arrange to talk on the radio about the need for “More Women on Our Council”
9. Contact your local DEW (Democracy and Empowerment of Women Promoter or Animator if you are interested in being a Volunteer Election Observer (see page on requirements for election observers)

Things to do ON Women’s Day

1. Wear your yellow ribbon
2. Encourage others to wear a yellow ribbon
3. Talk about the Yellow Ribbon Campaign for More Women on Councils and what more women your council would mean for your community
4. Mobilise more Women, Youth and Minority Candidates
5. Enjoy the Day!

Things to do AFTER Women’s Day (but no later than 20 March)

1. Write and send a short report to COMINSUD about your Women’s Day Activities
2. Follow-up all the potential candidates you have mobilised and make sure they give the local DEW Promoter or Animator their information. These candidates should come from many quarters (constituencies).
3. If you are interested in being a Volunteer Election Observer contact your local DEW Promoter or Animator

Information to share with groups who will march on Women’s Day

Example Messages for Posters

“I wear the yellow ribbon to support more women on my council”
“There are 2 Women Councillors in Fonfuka. Let there be 8+”
Note: you should insert the number of women councillors for you council, your council’s name and the target number of women according to the size of your council 8 for 25, 12 for 35, 14 for 4
“Women! Stand for election”
“Women! Let your voices be heard in councils in 2012”
“There is only 1 Woman in Parliament for the NWR – Let there be 5+”
More Women in Councils = More Development

Making the Ribbons

• It is easiest to use yellow ribbon from the market but any yellow material or bias binding can be used (these may be cheaper or more available where you are)
• Thin ribbon works best. Wide ribbon can be cut into two.
• The cut parts of the ribbon should be held over a candle to seal and stop fraying. Be careful not to burn ribbon when doing this.
• Simple pins can be used to hold the ribbon.
• The most important thing is that thousands of people have a piece of yellow material pinned to their dress. Use what is available to you to achieve this – yellow ribbon, yellow material or yellow bias binding.

Other things you could do
• Have a yellow ribbon tied to the microphone people will use to make speeches
• Decorate the grandstand with some yellow ribbons
• Put a yellow ribbon and pin on each seat in the grandstand
• Make a giant ribbon to march with out of material or paper/carton painted yellow
• Copy the design of the badges to make more for your group
• Give yellow ribbons and pins to women who don’t have them
• Arrange speeches, talks and round table discussions on “More Women on Councils”

Information sheet for Speakers

Yellow Ribbon Campaign for More Women on Councils

Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) is running a campaign to get more women onto local councils in the 2012 elections.

All women and men are asked to wear a yellow ribbon to show support for more women on councils.

The yellow ribbons are to be worn starting on Women’s Day and continuing until the July Elections, especially to meetings and occasions.

The current situation of Women on Councils in North West Region

• There are 177 women councillors out of 1,088 currently. This is only 16% women, despite being more that 50% of the population.
• Only two councils have more than 25% of councillors being women. Bamenda III has 32% with 10 women out of 31 councillors and Fundong has 28% women with 7 women out of 25 councillors.
• Seven councils have less than 10%, councillors being women (Jakiri, Fonfuka, Njinikom, Ako, Ndu, Nwa and Fura-Awa)
• There are no Female Mayors in the region, but it is good that there are many female deputy mayors.
• The women councillors and deputy mayors already on councils should be applauded for leading the push for women to have a voice on councils.

How you can give Women a louder voice in your council

• Wear the Yellow Ribbon. COMINSUD is asking all women and men who want to see more women on local councils to wear a Yellow Ribbon today and until the elections. If masses of people are seen wearing the ribbon your message can not be ignored.
• Talk about the need to have more women in your council. Talk in meeting groups and churches, talk in political party meetings, talk in the Council, talk on the radio.
• Find the women in your community who would make good councillors. Talk to them, support them and encourage them to stand. COMINSUD is mobilising 1,000 Women, Youth and Minority potential councillors and parliamentarians to present to political parties. Get the names of Women who would make good councillors into the 1,000.
• Support women who are standing for election.

Make your voices heard in Councils and Parliament in 2012.
More women on Councils equals More Development

Wear the yellow ribbon to support more women on your council.

Information about Volunteer Election Observers

COMINSUD is mobilising and training people to be Volunteer Election Observers in the North West Region for the Municipal and Parliamentary Elections to be held in 2012 (July). Our aim is to cover as many polling stations as possible in the sub-divisions in which we work.

We are asking Promoters and Animators to find people willing to volunteer to observe the election. To be an Election Observer a person must:

1. Be registered to vote
2. Be 20 years and above
3. Be able to read and write
4. Be willing to attend training (in your Sub-division)

Observers must be registered to vote in the polling station where they will be observing.
The election observers being mobilised are volunteers. There is no money for observers.

Each Promoter must obtain from Elecam a list of all the polling stations in their sub-division and make a copy of it for COMINSUD. The Promoters and Animators must find Volunteer Election Observers for each polling centre. If a polling centre has more than 4 rooms two observers should be allocated to that polling centre.

Promoters and Observers are asked to send the completed list of Volunteer Election Observers and list of polling stations to COMINSUD no later than 15 April 2012. COMINSUD will work with you to arrange training of the observers and collection of information to apply for Election Observation Authority (badges).

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Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) is an organisation dedicated to sustainable development in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. COMINSUDs main office is located in Ntarinkon but she works throughout the North West Region to improve the lives and livelihoods of Cameroonians. Focusing on projects and programs of democracy, women's empowerment and good governance, COMINSUD aims to work with rural communities towards a better and more sustainable future.