Esther Omam puts Cameroon on global spotlight again

Cameroon born Esther Omam Njomo, peacebuilder, mediator, human rights defender is the winner of Global Pluralism Award 2023 for her work in mobilizing women & youths from across Cameroon to advocate for an end to conflict. This was announced in OTTAWA, CANADA, October 25, 2023 –by an Independent, charitable organization Global Centre for Pluralism and an independent, international jury of experts which selected this year’s three winners and seven honourable mention recipients from among 200 submissions across 60 countries following a rigorous review process.

Presented every two years, the Global Pluralism Award recognizes pluralism in action and celebrates the inspiring and brave work that is helping to build more inclusive societies where diversity is valued and protected.

Esther Omam is an award-winning peacebuilder and human rights defender who has spent

nearly three decades fostering a culture of peace in Cameroon. Her organization, Reach Out

Cameroon, promotes the rights of women and children in conflict-affected areas and

advances women?s participation in the peacebuilding process. It has served over 1,700,000 people in remote communities in the North West and South West regions since the

Anglophone crisis started in late 2016.

To amplify women?s voices, strengthen their agency, and draw attention to the impacts of

violence and trauma on their communities, Ms Omam established the Southwest/ Northwest

Women?s Taskforce. She was one of the leading organizers of the first-ever National

Women’s Convention for Peace in Cameroon, which drew over 1,200 women from across

the country to demand an end to violence. From facilitating the participation of women in

local and national dialogues to opening a Peace House christened “Esther?s Brave Space”

that offers temporary accommodation and counseling to survivors of gender-based violence,

Ms Omam champions pluralism by strengthening communities and uniting voices to call for

peace and social cohesion in Cameroon. She will be recognized at a ceremony to be held in

November in Ottawa, Canada. Where she will receive $50,000 (CAD) to further her work in

support of pluralism.

Esther Omam said, “This award is a reaffirmation of the value of the concept of „Leave no

one behind?. That humanity, more than ever before, should always come first. That our

diversity is our bond and that, with pluralism, everyone can have a voice. This award

symbolizes all that I fight for as a woman, a peacebuilder, and a leader in Cameroon, a

country where the acceptance of our diversity and plurality can be a solution to our plight.”

Dr. Marwan Muasher, Award Jury Chair and Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie

Endowment for International Peace, said, “The Award winners? work has enormous value in

the world today. Pluralism is not embedded in every society or every country in the world.

Those who work for pluralism, those who truly believe that diversity is a source of strength

and not weakness, need to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism said,

“Against the current global landscape, recommitting to the values of pluralism is incredibly

important. The 2023 Global Pluralism Award winners are demonstrating that with creativity

and courage, advancing pluralism is truly possible. Their achievements offer so much hope

for the future when it is needed most.”

Source: Cameroon News Agency