The Campaign is back from a remarkable journey on our Congo Women Speak delegation to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nobel Laureate and Campaign Advisory Committee member Leymah Gbowee led the delegation, which met with Campaign members ending sexual violence in conflict.
We are now focused on sharing the needs they identified and amplifying their messages through the Campaign's network.
Highlights of our delegation included meetings with Campaign members at:
- SOFEPADI and their Karibuni Wamama Medical Clinic (Bunia)
- Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (Bunia)
- Panzi Hospital and City of Joy in Bukavu
The activists we met with offered insight on the challenges confronting Congolese women and survivors of gender violence. For many in Eastern Congo, conflict remains a part of daily life. Failed reintegration of former soldiers has spiked domestic violence and women-led grassroots initiatives remain grossly underfunded and under-resourced. To compound the issue, members of various militia continue to use women’s bodies as a battlefield and impunity for sexual violence perpetrators is commonplace.
The Campaign met with over 350 women who are committed to changing the circumstances in which they live. Women are joining together to advance peace, support survivors of sexual violence, and demand justice for committed atrocities. As Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee says, “They say that the DRC is the rape capital of the world, but what I see is that it is the capital of strong women and solidarity among women.”
We are committed to spotlighting and amplifying the voices of women activists who work for peace around the world. Following the delegation, we brought Congo women’s voices to a series of meetings with international aid organizations and government officials in Nairobi, Kenya. This June, we will carry the stories of Congo’s women to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London.
A closer look at our Congo Women Speak delegation:
Check out the #CongoWomenSpeak hashtag on Twitter