After months of preparations, members around the world launched the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict with a Week of Action May 6-13!
Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organizations, and groups at the regional and community levels in conflict areas partnered for events around the world. Over 2,500 members joined in our first week! We are excited to turn the amazing response we've gotten these first days into coordinated action to Stop Rape in Conflict!
Our Week of Action began on May 6 in Cartagena, Colombia. The event was organized by Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas and Red Nacional de Mujeres. Nine organizations came together at the Ciudad de Mujeres (City of Women) to celebrate.
A two-day event on May 10-11 launched the Campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Peace People's Ann Patterson, and Campaign Coordinator Yee Htun celebrated in the country's capital of Kinshasa. The event was organized by Julienne Lusenge with Solidarite Feminine Pour la Paix et le Developpment Integral (SOFEPADI) and Fond Pour Les Femmes Congolais. Ceremonies included survivors who pledged support for the Campaign. Local grassroots activists and Campaign representatives met with the President of Parliament, the Secretary General of the Minister of Justice, and representatives of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
Across the country, the Campaign launched the same day in Eastern Congo's South Kivu province. Over 50 organizations gathered in Bukavu to pledge their support! The event was organized by Panzi Hospital, Physicians for Human Rights, and SOFEPADI and included debate about next steps for action in the region. Check back soon for an update and photos from the Bukavu event!
A drum beat signaled the finale of our Week of Action in Kenya, with over 300 people marching through Nairobi's city core on May 18! Speeches by activists, the Police Commissioner and Lady Justices at Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park ended by planting a memorial tree for the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai.
The Week of Action included action by new members who mobilized support through the #IPLEDGE campaign within their country and through their networks. Worldwide Burmese Coalition groups released a statement endorsing the Campaign, and in Mexico over 50 organizations and 30 individuals - including survivors of sexual violence - signed a public letter of support. In Khartoum, Sudan, a one-day workshop was held for young journalists to raise awareness about gender violence, while Canada's Official Opposition as well as the UN Secretary General's Network of Men Leaders voiced their support for the Campaign.
As our launch winds down and Campaign activities get underway, many more events are planned and advocacy actions are being developed! Events are coming up in: United States, Canada, Spain, Japan, Burma, Guatemala - and stay tuned for online action in June!