Women of the Congo demand an end to sexual violence

women of congoA fact-finding mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo—led by Nobel peace laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and organized by the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict—today called on the government of the DRC and the international community to put women at the centre of peace efforts and bring an end to rampant sexual violence.

“They say that the DRC is the rape capital of the world,” said Gbowee.  “But what I see is that it is the capital of strong women and solidarity among women.  We are here to support the courageous women who have survived rape and other forms of sexual violence—and are now working to help other survivors.

These women are the peacemakers, and they need to be supported to bring true peace to this country.  They have told us:  ‘enough is enough’–no more war on women’s bodies.”

The fact-finding mission met with over 350 women in the DRC.  The women presented the delegation with key recommendations for the government of the DRC, governments in the region as well as the international community.

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The recommendations include greater protection for human rights defenders, effective application of transitional justice in DRC and reparations for survivors, access to a full range of services for survivors (medical, psychological, legal and socio-economic, family planning) across the DRC, reform of the police, army and other judiciary mechanisms and the full implementation of the National Action Plan on Sexual and Gender-based Violence.