Dr. Evelyn Shiri-Neh Fogwe teaches Linguistics at the University of Buea, Cameroon. From 2007 to 2009, she worked as a Georg Forster Research Fellow at the Asien-Afrika-Institut at the University of Hamburg. Evelyn Fogwe is a mother of four children.
Cover Story: Careers with Obstacles - Women in Academia
Surviving in a Male-Dominated World
Evelyn Shiri-Neh Fogwe, Linguist, Cameroon
As a mother and wife I often have to make compromises. For example, I would have liked to do more field research, but my husband and children would have felt abandoned. I always have a bad conscience when I am away from home for a longer period of time.
I live in a typical African male-dominated society. Women must work especially hard to stand their ground. In Cameroon, many of my male colleagues think that women are naturally less capable of doing science. In Germany, it is different.
My advice to young female African colleagues: Believe in yourselves and try as hard as you can to be the best, in everything you do. Women must know that men will not just give them their rights. They must claim them for themselves. It is important that the whole family stands behind one’s decision to embark on a scientific career and helps organise the daily routine. A person should be judged by his or her ability and talents and not by gender. Women should never take no for an answer!
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