Economic empowerment is central to women’s ability to overcome poverty, cope with shocks and improve their well-being.
When women realize their economic goals, whether it’s growing a business, improving their home or investing in training or education, they’re more resilient and able to provide for themselves and their families.
Yet, globally, women continue to trail men in formal Labour force participation, land and property ownership, and access to financial services, like credit and savings.
Against this backdrop, the Chargé d’affaires in the American Embassy to Cameroon. Vernelle Trim Fitzpatrick has encouraged women and young girls to be self-assertive and to always pursue their dreams with a positive mindset.
She was speaking in Douala on the 23 March 2021 during an interactive session with some young girls and women on the theme, “female empowerment” which is in line with the theme of this year’s edition of the international women’s day.
Through her life story, Vernelle Trim Fitzpatrick urged the young women to work hard and become what they want to be while ignoring side talks that are intended to deter them from achieving their goals. She said despite the difficulties she had in life, she never gave up in pursuing her dreams. She called on the girls to be disciplined, smart and stand up for what they want.
“You have to sacrifice in achieving your goals and don’t think everything will come easily”. She regretted that in Cameroon like in many other countries women have been relegated to the background.
She advised that approaches tailored to reach women must address and overcome the multiple obstacles that can leave women trapped in poverty.
Women Empowerment programmes should be focused on increasing women’s skills, decision-making power and access to economic resources, the diplomat added.