What Women Want survey was a great opportunity offered by the White Ribbon Alliance for Cameroonian women to make their voices heard and their opinions known as far as the quality of their maternal and reproductive health is concerned. This initiative was welcomed and fully engaged by the CBCHS team.
The survey results were analyzed and Ferdinant Mbiydzenyuy, the Program Coordinator for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control at the CBC Health Services, has the following observations about the survey.
“I don’t know what made me fall in love with this campaign,” says Ferdy, “but it has been a game changer in Cameroon. What women wrote reflected their hearts and minds, their very deep needs and wants. I didn’t know it was like this. Why did we wait so long to find out?” “Some women were scared by the question; it was a surprise even to be asked. Others welcomed it. They saw that we came from the health system and wanted to give us their feedback on our services,” said Ferdy. One recurrent theme was the cost of healthcare with many women asking for services which are free or at reduced cost. But above all he said women long to be treated with kindness, to be given information, and spoken to with understanding and empathy. “They want health workers to understand that respect is part and parcel of care.” It is not just an issue of health, but also of gender. “Women tend to bear rudeness from health workers. But this would not happen to men because they are more respected in our culture, they are the decision makers, the leaders. This is an injustice and an inequality.” Some women used the campaign to vent their anger; “I think women should be angry; they deserve more.” The responses have been a revelation; what counts now is action. Others within Ferdy’s organization, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, have already responded to the survey by making systemic changes to their hospitals and they plan to use the findings for further advocacy. What Women Want is having an impact on government too. “I showed the surveys to a supervisor in the government for maternal and child health services,” says Ferdy. “He was very uncomfortable to read them, but he said the surveys are a mirror to the services we provide but never have the opportunity to evaluate. He has already started talking with service providers about treating women better. “The What Women Want campaign is ground breaking. Our services are going to improve, I’m sure of it!”
This piece it should be noted was written by the What Women Want campaign team and published on the link below
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5aa813dd3917ee6dd2a0e09e/t/5cf6f349ab535c0001d4620e/1559688036118/What-Women-Want_Global-Findings.pdf, which also contains survey reports from other countries around the globe.