Kigali—(February 19, 2014). A group of high-level American and Canadian women—led by Nobel peace laureate Leymah Gbowee—today launched a fact-finding mission aimed at understanding the work of local women’s organizations who are stopping rape and other forms of gender-based violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Ending sexual violence and supporting survivors is finally on the global agenda,” says Ms. Gbowee, a trained trauma counselor who earned the Nobel peace prize in 2011 for working with Muslim and Christian women to bring peace to Liberia. “We want to meet with those women who are putting themselves at risk to do this important work – and then find out how we as an international community can better target our resources to support women-led change at the grassroots level in Eastern DRC.”
The group, which includes journalists and human rights experts, will meet with dozens of survivors of sexual violence in Bunia (Orientale) and Bukavu (South Kivu), as well front-line workers from community–led non-governmental organizations that provide psycho-social, medical, legal and other support to survivors. The delegation will also meet with government officials, representatives of UN agencies, and international agencies.
Findings from the delegation will be presented at the upcoming global summit on sexual violence being hosted by the UK government in June. The delegation will also be communicating its findings at the UN General Assembly in September, and to national governments in the region and around the world.
Notes to journalists
- The delegation will be in Bunia, Orientale province, February 20 – 22, and Bukavu, South Kivu, February 23-25.
- A media conference with the delegation will be held on February 25th in Bukavu
– 30 –
For more information, please contact:
Director, Media & Communications
Rwanda as of Feb 16: +250-783-114-778 / Congo as of Feb. 20: +243-810-223-626
Online Media & Outreach Coordinator
Rwanda as of Feb 16: +250-789-523-339 / Congo as of Feb. 20: +243-814-551-168
Anna Mayimona Ngemba
Local Media Coordinator
Congo: +243 999 958 352 / +243 818 047 216
Ottawa: +1-613-569-8400 ext. 115
To follow the delegation on social media:
On Our Blog: http://bit.ly/CongoWomenSpeakBlog
On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube: @NobelWomen #CongoWomenSpeak
The Nobel Women’s Initiative was established in 2006, and is led by Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman and Mairead Maguire. The Nobel Women’s Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and of courageous women peace laureates to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality.