DRC: Standing radically on the issue of women’s rape

Wivine Mumba Matipa - Congolese Minister of Justice and Human Rights

Wivine Mumba Matipa – Congolese Minister of Justice and Human Rights

…if Wivine Mumba Matipa, Minister of Justice and Human Rights and Genevieve Inagosi Minister of Gender, Family and Children, Congolese government officials directly responsible of the women’s condition cannot indicate to the public at least 48 sex offenders every three months and get them imprisoned for committed crimes through the normal judiciary Congolese system, then the population in Kinshasa and across all main cities of DRC, with the help of women organisations in the country would and should stage massive demonstrations to demand the resignation of the two ministers.

Genevieve Inagosi - Congolese Minister of Gender Family and Children

Genevieve Inagosi – Congolese Minister of Gender Family and Children

Today I read again in the news the story of this Indian young woman student who was gang-raped and then later on died as a consequence.

India rape protester

India rape protester

“A23-year old medical student was attacked on a bus in Delhi while on her way home from the cinema. The male friend she was with was beaten up and she was raped by six men for over an hour. They also violated her with an iron bar, causing the injuries which eventually led to her death two weeks later.

The case of Congolese women and girls, who, particularly in the Eastern provinces of the country, are almost experiencing rape constantly, came to mind.

On Tuesday December 11, 2012 Republican Congressman Christopher Smith, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs indicated that according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 48 Congolese women and girls were raped every hour in DRC.

In the Congolese government of President Joseph Kabila, two women occupy a privileged position to be accountable about the situation of women in DRC. These personalities are: Wivine Mumba Matipa, Minister of Justice and Human Rights and Genevieve Inagosi Minister of Gender, Family and Children.

My suggestion is that for example if the two ministers directly responsible of the Congolese women’s condition cannot announce to the public at least 48 sex offenders every three months and get them imprisoned for their crimes through the usual judiciary Congolese system, then the Congolese population in Kinshasa or across all main cities of DRC, and beyond in the diaspora, with the help of women organisations in the country would and should stage massive demonstrations to demand their resignation.

A government which cannot protect its women citizens when sex offenders in the hundreds some well known by their victims walk free among them every day without fearing any law enforcement against them, should have concerned officials resign. In these particular cases, the ministers responsible should be made to feel that they are accountable particularly through pressure from women organisations.

Difficult situations demand radical measures. Ministers directly in charge of the Congolese women’s rape issue should be at least capable of showing to the population of hundreds of thousands of women who have been victims for years that they really care about seeing justice done.

What these massively organised protests both inside DRC and in the diaspora will achieve might not necessarily be the resignation of these two Congolese women officials, but they will mainly help to keep in the eyes of the general public all insecurity issues related to that problem which affects women and girls most dramatically.

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4 responses to “DRC: Standing radically on the issue of women’s rape

  1. Pingback: Dr Denis Mukwege returns to Bukavu. | Rising Continent

  2. http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/AFR62/008/2012/fr/2bf052ab-196d-4d43-bf46-e7fd77017167/afr620082012en.html This petition for reform of the Justice system in the DRC was handed over to the Minister in May and as yet I am not aware of any action taken or the publishing of the according to her impending document outlining the reforms which were to take place. Need to be careful not to throw out someone who could be an ally though in the struggle for justice as it would take time to recruit another person to this and to influence their behaviour and whoever gets the job under the current Govt they will only ever have limited powers to take actions sanctioned by the current regime many of which may never be effective, perhas better to aim at mobilising women, children and men from among the people. I could find very limited and scarce information on the www about the origin of both women.

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  3. hey

    this is a hard one. while I do agree with you…when it comes down to it is it armed men in gangs roaming around and causing these rapes? if so, apart from getting the army out how can these female officials physically stop this from happening?

    The Almighty’s Blessings

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    • I agree with you that the suggested action isn’t easy. But its whole point is to keep the issue of women’s rape and its root causes in the priorities of the Congolese government. The Vietnam War or Apartheid system didn’t end because US or South Africa governments of that time wanted, but only because they were pressurized into taking actions towards that outcome.

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