Johanna Paillet

Johanna Paillet (Vital Voices in Cameroon): Johanna is from Montpellier in the South of France. She received her undergraduate degree from Mills College, and also earned a Baccalauréat at the Lycée Français in San Francisco. Johanna worked as a counselor for youths-at-risk in San Francisco. She also served as a rape counselor for Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR), an Oakland-based non-governmental organization. Johanna has also attended the Academy of Art University where she specialized in documentary photography. At the time of her fellowship, Johanna was pursuing a Masters degree in International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Johanna has been extensively involved with the National Model United Nations. After her fellowship, Johanna wrote: “The fellowship has confirmed my desire to work as a development practitioner.”

Assessment Phase: Understanding Women Traders’ Needs

08 Jul

The Sandaga women market traders make a substantial contribution to the local economy of Douala. In fact, their annual profit is estimated to range between $14,000,000 and $32,000,000. Nonetheless, being a woman trader is not valued within society. Due to its informal nature, this economic activity is looked down upon and considered a second-class job.

At the Sandaga Market, women traders face a plethora of challenges ranging from general problems intrinsic to the Sandaga market itself such as a lack of basic infrastructures –latrines, potable water, and safe electrical installations– to more specific problems targeting women traders in particular including intimidation, manipulation, as well as verbal, physical and sexual harassment.

In the following video, you will meet some of the women traders who will explain some of the challenges they must face on a daily basis. And because “l’union fait la force,” as the UCOMAS women traders have taught us, please find the second part of these excerpts on my co-fellow/partner in crime/dear friend… Helah Robinson.


Posted By Johanna Paillet

Posted Jul 8th, 2009