Nation-wide movement for gender equality in the DRC

A large number of civil society organisations in the DRC have joined forces in a campaign called Rien sans les Femmes (Nothing without women) to strengthen women’s political participation.

The Rien sans les Femmes movement marching behind a banner saying
The Rien sans les Femmes movement marching behind a banner saying "Parity is constitutional, let us keep it!" in Uvira, South Kivu province. Photo: Etienne Karanga / Rien sans les Femmes

The campaign started in 2015, with the support of Kvinna till Kvinna. Organisations came together to demand a change to the country’s electoral legislation, to have electoral lists include as many women as men. In just a few weeks, a petition collected more than 200,000 signatures in support of the proposal. The country’s National Assembly acknowledged the success as “ground-breaking.”

Since then, a new gender equality law has been adopted in the DRC. Because so many organisations back the Rien sans les Femmes campaign, authorities are forced to listen.

When Rien sans les Femmes presented a review of the gender equality laws, many members of parliament attended, including the Governor of South Kivu, who gave his support to the campaign.

After years of hard work, the Rien sans les Femmes campaign has grown into a nation-wide movement of more than 160 organisations. Today, its members are seen as experts on matters of gender equality.

Funding was provided by the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

18 October 2012