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Women's Rights Advocate Julienne Lusenge Speaks Out on Women's Rights in the DRC

Julienne Lusenge speaking in Geneva

Women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face a crisis of gender violence, discrimination and repression.

In response, MADRE collaborated with our partners at Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development (SOFEPADI) and 152 other women’s organizations to create a report documenting key issues experienced by women and girls in the DRC. The priorities highlighted include: discrimination, sexual and gender violence, access to justice and women's participation in public and political life as well as in peace processes. 

Click here to read the report summary.

On July 8, 2019, Julienne Lusenge, President of SOFEPADI, presented the official report to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee.

During her address, Julienne stated: “Sexual violence is increasing in conflict-affected provinces and across the country. The perpetrators include armed groups, security services and civilians. Impunity persists, and when perpetrators are prosecuted, judges impose penalties that are too lenient compared to what the law calls for.”

Click here to read Julienne’s full statement.

Women and girls face many risks. In our report, we emphasize how getting to school means long and dangerous journeys to and from their homes. Young girls are preyed upon by instructors, forced to marry and, in many circumstances, have children while still a child. Denied an education, they find themselves locked out of policy and decision-making spaces reserved for people with advanced degrees and dominated by men.

With this collaboration, we hope to establish new possibilities that promise safer futures by holding governments accountable for the protection of women and girls.

July 16, 2019