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A group of women on the programme, Women for Women International - DRC

My country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has seen constant wars for over two decades. Women have been used as weapons in this conflict through individual and mass rape, sexual slavery, acts of mutilation, murders and massacres. Despite ceasefire agreements signed by the warring factions, the east of the country remains dangerous due to armed groups and militias which are uncontrolled and always active.

DRC has over 400 tribes, and each tribe has social norms one must follow in order to be an active member of the community. These norms are completely patriarchal, keeping women and girls' status below that of men. The combination of conflict and rigid gender norms mean that women are permanently dependent on men, and viewed as a source of pleasure and material goods.

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