Julienne Lusenge

​​President, Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development

a cutout headshot photo of Julienne Lusenge

“The DRC, my home, has been a place of conflict for decades. I saw my neighboring province of Ituri dissolve into conflict in 1997, when the fault lines between ethnic groups were exploited by warlords and community leaders. Being ignored due to my own ethnicity in places I had once been welcomed was deeply painful. But it also deepened my empathy for those I had connected with for so many years.”

Julienne Lusenge speaking into a mic at a panel

Julienne’s activism:

Julienne began her activism as a journalist, working as a humanitarian radio broadcaster responsible for sharing health and human rights information.

In addition to her work with SOFEPADI, Julienne has acted as coordinator of the National Campaign of Congolese Women Against Sexual Violence and is director of the Congolese Women’s Fund.

Julienne’s work extends beyond the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as she sits on the Advisory Committee of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.

Julienne has been internationally recognized for her work, receiving the Aurora Humanitarian Prize in 2021, the Human Rights Award from the Embassy of France in 2012, and celebrated as a Knight of the Legion of Honour by the French government in 2013.

“Being a journalist gave me access to local villages in a more intimate way. Women knew me and trusted me. I saw glaring inequalities: a woman who did not dare to speak just because she was in front of a man or the traditional chief; women who were abused but who could not talk about it for fear of further violence. I thought to myself, if I have had the opportunity to be educated and have the opportunity to speak, why not continue to help other women speak for themselves?”

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.

Learn more about SOFEPADI

More Voices