Gender Equity: A Key to Human Development
La Femme est le pilier central du foyer. The Congolese say that the woman is the central pillar of the home. We think she is the central pillar of Congo. Her status reflects the state of affairs. She takes care of her family. She is the one who keeps life going amidst the chaos. She molds the next generation and creates her neighborhood's future. As she goes, so goes Congo.
Raising women's status is the key to raising DR Congo's Human Development Index. Sexual violence, gender-based violence, and ethnic hatred destroy futures for everyone. Every member of a community is valuable, apart from their skills, language, and culture. Our partners teach that each individual has important gifts to contribute to society.
DR Congo passed a new constitution in 2006. This new law gives women strong parity and legal rights. Sexual violence is patently illegal. The age of consent is 18 years, so it is unlawful for an older man to marry a young girl. Women can participate in governance. They can participate in the economy.
Gender equity is possible in DR Congo. When women are empowered to care for themselves and their children, they bring strength and hope to their communities. Education raises women's status and changes the future of their world.
- When women know how to prevent and care for common diseases, their children are healthier and more hopeful.
- When women have basic information about reproductive health, both maternal and infant mortality drop.
- When women participate in the formal economy, they become strong leaders that are respected in their community.
- When women know their rights and participate in governance, they become powerful catalysts for lasting peace.
DR Congo and The Girl Effect: By passing a strong law against statutory rape and giving women explicit rights under law, DR Congo has taken an important step toward realizing The Girl Effect as described in the viral video to the left.