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Cameroon

Sub-Saharan Africa

Women

Cameroon ranks 141 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Children

Cameroon has a Workplace Index score of 6.2, a Marketplace Index score of 5.3 and a Community and Environment Index score of 6.9 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Cameroon is home to more than 250 ethnic groups and sub-groups, many of which have spread across neighbouring countries. These can be classified in five major regional-cultural groups. Western highlanders, also called grassfielders, form the largest of these with about 38 % of the population. They include the Bamiléké, Bamoun and other north-western peoples. In a region of fertile soils, Bamiléké are noted and frequently resented for their success in farming and commerce. Southern tropical forest peoples include the Ewondo, Bulu and Fang, all of which are in the Beti cluster of peoples. Much of the country’s political elite has come from the Bulu sub-group. Nomadic forest peoples, commonly referred to as ‘Pygmies’, eke out precarious livelihoods in the shrinking forests of the south-west and south-east. These peoples include the Ba’Aka, BaKola, BaGyeli and Bedzam. They have faced pressure from the Catholic Church and the government to settle in ‘pilot villages’ and along roadways, and have been exploited by logging companies to assist in the destruction of their forest environment.

Montagnards are also known as ‘Kirdi’, a collective name for several non-Muslim peoples in the north who make up around 11 % of the total population. They outnumber the Muslim population of the north but are much less organized politically. While the term meaning ‘infidel’ has pejorative roots, the name has since been adopted as a marker of ethnic and religious pride.  Islamic peoples of the northern Sahel include the Peuhl, who are cotton and rice farmers, as well as livestock herders. Peuhl elites have gained national political prominence. Coastal tropical forest peoples include Bassa, Douala and smaller groups of the south-west. Overlaying Cameroon’s rich ethnic diversity is a split between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon, a legacy of the country’s divided colonial history. Both English and French are official languages, but Francophone Cameroonians outnumber Anglophone Cameroonians by about four-to-one. Christians, including both Roman Catholics and Protestants, are concentrated in the south and west. Muslims are found in all parts of the country, but more in the north. Many Christians and Muslims integrate traditional beliefs into their religious practices.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Cameroon ranks 15 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch