I am Generation Equality: Diane Ndarbawa, youth activist for economic justice


I am Generation Equality
Diane Ndarbawa, President of Manki Maroua. Photo Courtesy of Diane Ndarbawa
Diane Ndarbawa, President of Manki Maroua. Photo Courtesy of Diane Ndarbawa

I am Generation Equality because…

Three things you can do to become part of Generation Equality:

  • Promote reducing technological and digital barriers for women and girls
  • Help finance entrepreneurial projects and income-generating activities for young girls and women
  • Icon- a girl raises her arm
  • Join the #GenerationEquality campaign by sharing stories like this with your friends and social media networks

“Everyone has a role to play in defending women’s rights. We must all actively support women and girls in our communities, so that they can have access to decent work and are not left behind.

I [believe in] financially empowering adolescent girls and women and supporting their professional growth. Through my organization, Manki Maroua, I work every day to foster respect for women’s economic rights, including improved working conditions.

Being an Action Coalition Leader is allowing me to raise the voices of women in my community and present our ideas and expectations for action on an international platform. I hope that participating in the Generation Equality Forum will help remedy the difficulties that women and girls encounter on a daily basis.

Accelerating equality, leadership and opportunity for women and girls worldwide

The Generation Equality Forum offers the opportunity to elevate the work of organizations that fight for the rights of women and girls, especially those most vulnerable and marginalized. The Forum is championing the work of young people and giving us a space where our views and ideas are listened to closely, while taking into account our diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds.

I hope that discussions are backed by technical and financial contributions to young people to support us in our innovative projects, in Africa and all around the world. It is critical that Forum commitments are put into action. Real change depends on that.

Driving economic justice

My #ActForEqual is helping women and girls to become autonomous and independent.

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“We must all actively support women and girls in our communities.”

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The Forum should support advocacy to ensure that governments adopt gender-responsive laws, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralysed women’s economic activities, increased unemployment and the burden of unpaid work, and overall, accentuated extreme poverty. Legal change is urgently needed to speed-up progress on gender equality, economic justice, and safeguard this progress in the long-term.

Another way to secure economic justice is by supporting organizations that are working with women in local communities, for example, those that offer technical expertise and financial backing to girls and women entrepreneurs. 

Driving innovation is also important. One of Manki Maroua’s primary objectives is to maximize the use of digital technology in supporting income-generating activities, thereby transforming the daily lives of adolescent girls in Cameroon. The voices of women from diverse backgrounds should be at the heart of technological innovation.

Finally, all these actions must be placed in the broader context of the fight against climate change, which means that respecting and protecting the environment should always be a cross-cutting priority.”

Diane Ndarbawa is the President of Manki Maroua, an association of girl-child mothers in Cameroon. She also represents the Generation Equality ForumAction Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, working to ensure that systems and structures are gender-responsive, equitable, free of violence and harassment, and resilient to economic shocks such as the recent ones brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ndarbawa’s action priority is improving technical and financial support for women’s and girls’ projects.