Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Women March Against Sexual Violenc

The first lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo's today led thousands of women on a march against sexual violence.

Olive Lembe Kabila headed the rally in the town of Bukavu in the east of the country, where Congolese and foreign armed groups have operated for years.

On Friday, the head of the UN mission in DR Congo, The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO), said an estimated 15,000 people were raped there last year.

The demonstration saw thousands of women walk through the streets of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province.

Many of them carried banners with slogans such as "No to sexual terrorism," according to the AFP news agency.
"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, "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."



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