To what extent is the documentary film ‘sisters in law’ a reliable source to account for the situation of women’s rights in Came

Issues in Cameroon In this section, the issues faced by women in Cameroon have been listed down and discussed as shown in the documentary. The reliability of the documentary is also analysed with the help of some independent sources. Child Marriage The documentary shows that women are usually married off at a very young age in the country (Ayisi Longinotto, 2005). Due to early marriage, they are unable to complete their education. An early marriage also gives rise to early pregnancies which is risky both for the mother as well as the child. This problem is corroborated by the statistics presented by UNICEF. According to UNICEF 36% of women were married before the age of 18 in 2010. Thus, the problem of Child marriage is really a big issue in Cameroon and has been captured well by the documentary (UNICEF, 2010). Selling off Daughters In the beginning of the documentary we have seen a case in which the women were ‘sold’ of as wife by the father in return for dowry. This is a very big problem in many Islamic societies. Women are considered as merchandise by the family which can be sold for the right amount (Ayisi Longinotto, 2005). Although the documentary has failed to take into account the issue that majority of Cameroon residents are not Muslims but the issue is still worth discussing as it affects one-third of Cameroon’s population. The documentary presents this issue in a good way but fails to tell us about the extent to which this issue plagues the society. Custody of Children The Islamic law says that if there is divorcee or if the wife runs away, the custody of the children stays with the father. This is in sharp contrast with the modern law which regards the mother as the most natural custodian of the child. Although Cameroon has modern system of law in place but the society still follows age old tradition and a woman has to fight in order to get custody of her children (Ayisi Longinotto, 2005).Once again the documentary focused on the Islamic population of Cameroon and fails to give an insight into the practices followed by other people of Cameroon. Physical abuse Physical Abuse is another big problem which is faced by women in Cameroon. This abuse is not only inflicted on older women but even children are not spared from it. It is common for the husband to regularly beat up his wife over small things. Children are beaten up mercilessly by their guardians over small faults (Ayisi Longinotto, 2005).Report of UNICEF in 2010 also supports the issue shown in the documentary. It shows that 56% of population of Cameroon justifies wife beating and a very high 93% has justified the beating of children (UNICEF, 2010).Thus the issue shown in the documentary also finds resonance with UNICEF and shows that the issue has been shown reliably and correctly. Social Boycott Cameroon is a traditional society where matters of the house are not taken outside. The elders of the house or of the village gather together in order to solve the issue .It is taboo for women to drag her husband to the court even if she has been suffering a lot. Once a woman decides to break free of