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MEDIA ADVISORY: WOMEN BREAKING THE SILENCE: Public Events in Goma and Bukavu, DRC, September 2008


Public Events in Goma and Bukavu, DRC, September 2008


UNICEF and V-DAY are organizing two one-day events as part of their joint campaign in the DRC: “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women and Girls in DRC”. The events are entitled “Women Breaking the Silence”, which for the first time will feature women survivors telling their stories of rape and sexual violence to a public audience. Each woman will end her story with a statement, with the 20 statements collectively serving as a call to the world to act now to stop the raping of Congolese women and girls. These spokeswomen will be supported to go on and become community activists on sexual and gender based violence as part of the broader campaign.


Goma – Conference Room, Mwanga College
Bukavu – TBA


Goma – September 12th, 2008
Bukavu – September 19th, 2008


Conveners of the events are UNICEF and V-Day in partnership with UNFPA, MONUC, and dozens of Non-Governmental Organizations working on sexual and gender based violence in DRC. The founder of V-DAY and renowned activist, Eve Ensler, will participate in both events. Senior Congolese government officials, key Ambassadors to the DRC, senior UN officials, civil society, survivors of sexual violence, and campaign activists will attend.


To provide a platform from which Congolese rape survivors can make their voices heard, be publicly acknowledged, lift their shame, transform their pain into power, and reshape public opinion on the realities of their suffering. Also, to continue to raise international awareness of the scale and brutality of sexual violence in the DRC, where more than 200,000 women and girls have been raped over the past 12 years.


The campaign was launched in November 2007 in Bukavu, DRC. Dozens of activities have been held in major towns across eastern DRC, including hundreds of village-level discussion fora led by trained activists, which are starting to change perceptions and attitudes that continue to perpetuate the cycle of violence. Construction on the ‘City of Joy’, a safe haven and leadership program for survivors of rape who have been left without family and community, starts this autumn!

For further in formation, please contact:

Jaya Murthy, Communications Specialist, UNICEF DRC, Eastern Zonal Office – Goma, Tel: +243 81 830 5933; Email:
Susan Celia Swan, Managing Director/Communications, V-Day, Tel +1 917 865 6603 ; Email: