The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Why we work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has seen over 20 years of war and violent conflict, claiming more than 5 million lives. Nowadays, episodes of violence still occur throughout the country. Kvinna till Kvinna together with her partners also work in the East of the DRC where there are still 120 rebel groups present.
At the root of the violence, we find exclusive and dysfunctional forms of governance. These stem from systems of power that justify male dominance over women and prevent women from influencing decisions that directly affect them.
As a result, women’s political participation is worryingly low: less than 8% of national-level decision-makers are women. Economically, their influence is limited too: 60% of women in the DRC live below the poverty line. In the agricultural sector, women are overrepresented but still forced to rely on men to access land. Violence against women is pervasive. The UN estimates 2 out of 3 women are subjected to physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. Most commonly, the violence occurs at home, perpetrated by a woman’s intimate partner.
Women’s rights and other organisations from across the country have joined forces and formed the Rien sans les Femmes (Nothing without Women) movement, to promote equal representation in state institutions.