Sisters In Law Review

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Documentary focussing on two women who business is seeking legal justice for women in Cameroon.


As in her film Divorce Iranian Style, award-winning documentarist Kim Longinotto sets out in this compelling study of Cameroonian justice to suggest that women in a traditionally patriarchal society are finding the courage to stand up for their rights.

She and Florence Ayisi focus on three cases handled by Kumba Town lawyer Vera Ngassa, whose sensitivity in eliciting testimony from her scared clients contrasts with the no-nonsense attitude she adopts in court. Consequently, a sense of triumph accompanies her successful prosecution of the aunt who abuses a six year-old, the Muslim husband who beats his wife (the first such conviction in 17 years) and the neighbour who rapes a tweenager. But it’s clear that such victories are as rare as they’re hard won.

A compelling study of a small-town lawyer's determination to challenge Cameroon's institutionalised chauvinism, which judiciously combines small triumphs with a daunting sense of the task that lies ahead.