Marlyse Aboui, a 40-year-old nurse, has still not gotten over the astonishment she felt when she heard that Cameroon’s President Paul Biya had nominated her to the senate.
“I feel like I am in a dream that I will wake up from at any minute. When I first learnt that I had been appointed to the senate, I told myself that it couldn’t be true. I asked myself what I could possibly have done to receive this high appointment from the president,” she told IPS.
As the local party chair of the National Alliance for Democracy and Progress, an opposition party in eastern Cameroon, Aboui is one of only 20 women in the 100-member Cameroonian senate. Seventy senators, 17 of whom are women, were elected on Apr. 14 in the country’s first-ever senatorial elections. Biya was required to nominate the remaining 30 senators, and included in his nominations were three women.
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