Yesterday, thousands of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo marched through the town of Bukavu with signs and slogans saying, “No to sexual terrorism.” The first lady led the rally in a statement to fight the continuing thousands of rapes occurring across the war-torn nation.
This comes a month after a top official at the United Nations said the UN had “failed” the rape survivors that could have been protected better in the midst of this epidemic. On Friday, the head of the UN mission there estimated that over 15,000 people have been raped there in 2009. More on the organizers and ralliers:
“Coming here is important because violence towards women is used systematically as a weapon of war,” said Miriam Nobre of World March of Women, which organised the march.
Nene Rukunghu, a doctor at a hospital in Bukavu, said the international community finally seemed interested in DR Congo’s problems.
“We must fight against impunity, so that the perpetrators of violence are punished, to allow women to regain their dignity. Despite what they endure, Congolese women are strong and able to stand up again.”