Dates: 20-25 February 2014
Locations: Bunia and Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
“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.”
Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2011) and trained trauma counselor, led a fact-finding mission to meet with over 350 survivors of sexual violence, to learn more about the innovative strategies they and local women’s organizations have developed to stop rape and gender-based violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. This delegation of journalists and human rights experts also met with government officials, UN representatives and international agencies. They visited the Rwanda Genocide Memorial Centre in Kilgali, Rwanda, the Karibuni Wamama Medical Clinic and leading women’s organizations in Bunia, and the Panzi Hospital and City of Joy in Bukavu.
To determine how the international community could better target its resources to support women-led change at the grassroots level in the region.
NWI brought DRC women’s voices to meetings with international aid organizations and government officials in Nairobi, Kenya.
Their stories were presented at the Global Summit on Sexual Violence hosted by the UK government in June 2014 in the form a photographic exhibition entitled Beauty in the Middle: Women of Congo Speak Out. The exhibition travelled to Ottawa, Canada in January 2015.
International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict (launched May 2012)
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