Elections, Gender, CAMEROON: :
Cultural restriction may disenfranchise women

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MORA, Cameroon - Women from Cameroon’s mainly Muslim north are amongst voters most likely to be prejudiced under the country’s new biometric voter registration system.
The women, who may not remove their veils in the presence of another man without their husbands’ consent, will not be able to have their identity photographs taken under the system.

In response, the country’s elections management body plans to conduct registration of this region's women in their own homes using female officials.

But they still face resistance from men who fear that it will be harder to control the movements of a woman with an identity document.

In the past, voters without ID cards could cast their ballot if they arrived at the polling station with at least two witnesses who could verify their identity. But this system is open to fraud and violates the right to secret ballot. /IPS (END//2012)

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