a group of women outside in the Congo listening to a SOFEPADI leader

Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI)

SOFEPADI organizes Congolese women and girls for equal access to social rights by working directly with their communities in decentralized field programs that include gender-based violence response and prevention, sexual and reproductive health, climate justice, and more.

SOFEPADI works toward a Democratic Republic of the Congo in which women and girls are treated as equals to men, have their needs met, and have their rights enshrined in law. The group works across ethnic and cultural divides to achieve their goals.

SOFEPADI is achieving results in a number of areas, including:

  • Raising awareness of and preventing gender violence
  • Providing medical and psychological care to survivors of sexual violence
  • Supporting girls’ access to education

WHY WE WORK IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

SOFEPADI is advancing women’s and girls’ safety

Women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo face a crisis of gender violence, discrimination, and repression. Rising sexual violence carried out by armed groups, security services, and civilians is met with lenient sentencing when perpetrators are held to account at all. Young girls are preyed upon by instructors, forced to marry, and in many circumstances, have children while still a child.

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Resist in Body

With MADRE’s support, SOFEPADI coordinates community violence prevention campaigns to confront domestic violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Rapid Response, Rapid Action

SOFEPADI used their experience with ebola outbreaks to launch public health campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on marginalized people.

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With MADRE, the president of SOFEPADI, Julienne Lusenge testified before the United Nations Security Council to call for the inclusion of women in peacemaking and for justice for victims of gender-based violence.

Raising the voices of Congolese women leaders

Julienne Lusenge speaking into a mic at a panel

“How do women heal from these atrocities? By connecting to each other. I started to link survivors together and build relationships between them through self-help groups and other activities. Once connected, these women were able to build a new community in the face of being shunned by their own.”

Julienne Lusenge ​​President, Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development
a cutout headshot photo of Julienne Lusenge

MADRE worked with SOFEPADI to advance the expertise of women and girls to the forefront of efforts to address rising levels of domestic violence resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We created real-time mechanisms for activists to learn from one another, helping ensure that successful strategies can be replicated.

We developed and disseminated recommendations for policymakers and advocated for their implementation.

YOUR SUPPORT IN ACTION

BRINGING CONGOLESE WOMEN AND GIRLS TO THE INTERNATIONAL HALLS OF POWER

MADRE collaborated with SOFEPADI to present a report to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women on issues faced by women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including rampant discrimination, sexual and gender violence, access to justice, and women's participation in public and political life.

SUPPORT OUR WORK
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Adam Jan Figel

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