STORIES

35th IWD; CRID for Gender Equality and Women’s rights in Science

Physical exercise, as it is often said, does much good – and this is the good CRID women did to the entire staff to mark the celebration of the 35TH edition of the International women’s Day, by including physical exercise in the day’s activities.

Since no gender should be left behind, the entire staff, male and female inclusive, set out to celebrate the women in science at CRID by engaging in two main activities; mountain top walk and picnic with conversations.

As soon as it was dawn on March 07, 2020, male and female staff at CRID converged at the heart of the capital city of Cameroon, Bastos- Yaoundé where the team took off for a two-hour walk and physical exercises.  Smartly arrayed and led by a female sports woman, a Certified Teacher of Physical Education and Sports and Federal Sports Instructor Fopeusse Kambeu Terence, the team walked up to one of Yaoundé’s popular mountains known as Monte Febe where they settled for more workouts.

Staff exercing at Monte Febe
Staff exercing at Monte Febe

From Mont Febe down to the Yaoundé Conference centre where open conversations took place on how to make the work place more dynamic and inclusive for women especially given their biological constructs.

One of CRID’s Principal Investigators and Virologist Dr Huguette Simo enlightened the team on the universal state of women in science. She brought to light how other female scientists have been thriving and how others can follow suit. Dr Huguette Simo went further to highlight societal and psychological barriers that favour the underrepresentation of women in Sciences worldwide. She specially congratulated CRID for all the efforts put in place to be an institution where equal opportunities are given to men and women.

Dr. Hugette leading conversations
Dr. Hugette leading conversations

The round circle discussion gave room for conversations such as women’s access to more breastfeeding hours, flexible working hours, women insertions at CRID’s top administrative and decision making positions for proper representation.

Men and women at CRID have equal remuneration for the same work done but is the staff aware of this? A question which the Executive Director of CRID made clear.

Salaries at CRID vary per categories. The remuneration policy is gender-neutral and everyone gets paid for the same value work they put in whether male or female” says Prof Charles Wondji

Activities leading to the celebration of the International Women’s Day at CRID were also marked with an online campaign prior to 8th March. The online campaign involved staff striking the each for equal pose with quotes which highlight the promotion of gender equality and realisation of women’s rights.

Master student striking the EachforEqual pose
Master student striking the EachforEqual pose

The online campaign gave birth to key equality messages which went further to prove the culture of inclusion at CRID and how much women’s rights are supported and promoted.

Since inception, CRID has given room for men and women to thrive on their individual potential as scientific researchers, Lab Technicians or administrators, as the results of a pre-IWD event revealed.