Delegation to the 20th Summit of the Africa Union 2013

Dates: January 2013
Locations: Bunia and Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo


The delegation attended the opening ceremony of the Summit and held an impromptu press conference to speak about sexual violence. They met with Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa. Jody Williams co-hosted a high-level side event with the AU Gender Director Litha Musyimi and the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma spoke in support of mission: “The emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the revolution … The main objective of the revolution is to destroy the system of exploitation and build a new society which releases the potentialities of human beings, and this is the context within which women’s emancipation arises.”

Prior to this event the Delegation attended the Gender is my Agenda Pre-Summit Consultative meeting, strategizing with more than 200 participants on the subject of gender mainstreaming in the African Union.


To call on Heads of State and the African Union to make stronger commitments to stop rape in conflict: “We are here to tell the African Union, enough is enough, sexual violence is continuing to tear people, families, and communities apart. Now women activists from across the continent have come to tell their leaders that they must be accountable to the women and girls of Africa.”


Jody Williams


The Nobel Women’s Initiative was part of a 25 person group of grassroots women activists from the DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya representing the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict.

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Media Coverage

Ban calls on African leaders to end cycle of poverty and violence (27 January 2013)