Sexual & Gender-Based Violence
“The future of Congo is these women. These women need your solidarity.”
-Nobel Peace Prize Nominee & Founder of Panzi Hospital, Dr. Denis Mukwege
Background: The Democratic Republic of Congo, home to over 70 million people, is a country of incredible beauty and opportunity. However, Congo is also the site of the most deadly conflict since World War II, with over 5.4 million people having died since 1998. Congo frequently ranks near the bottom in UN Human Development Indicators and highest in rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); over 1.7 million women in Congo are survivors of rape. SGBV is used as a weapon of war against infants, elders, and entire communities.
Violence is exacerbated by mining exploitation, a lucrative funding source for armed groups in the east and corrupt actors around the globe. As Nobel Prize Nominee and Founder of Panzi Hospital Dr. Denis Mukwege explains, “it is a war over Congo’s resources”, but “the time has come to transform conflict minerals into minerals for development and peace.”
Take Action: #StandWithCongo is an international human rights campaign for transparency in Congo mining. They work closely with communities across the world to take collective action against SGBV and minerals for peace. You can take action today:
1. Request a free Screening4Action of their award-winning documentary When Elephants Fight, narrated by Robin Wright (House of Cards): StandWithCongo.org/Request-a-Screening
2. Download the #StandWithCongo app and act to ensure mining corporations and government officials respect human rights. Click here.
3. Share the human rights petition and why it matters to you. Grow the movement for stronger local action for global change. Click here.
1. “Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo”. International Rescue Committee. https://www.rescue.org/sites/default/files/document/661/2006-7congomortalitysurvey.pdf
2. Amber Peterman, PhD, et al. “Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo”. American Journal of Public Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093289/
3. Margot Wallström and Dr. Denis Mukwege. “Will the European Endgame on Conflict Minerals Put an End to Financing Rape in the DRC?” Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margot-wallstrom/will-the-european-endgame_b_8389126.html?1445867038