Women from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday called for an end to sexual abuse used as a weapon by armed groups operating within the region.
This was during celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day, which saw hundreds of women from Rubavu district meet at the border with their counterparts from North Kivu Province..
The event, that was characterised by a peaceful march that stretched from Kivu Serena Hotel to the border post aimed at uniting their voices against rape, domestic violence and other vices, calling for durable peace and vowed to be ‘bridges of peace.’
“We are tired of sexual abuse targeting women,” one placard read. “We want all women out of isolation” and “we need development for women” other placards read.
Upon meeting with their Congolese counterparts, two parties from both side joined a banner that read; “we are bridges of peace.”
They were joined by the director of Women for Women International, Rwanda chapter Bella Kabarungi and her Congolese counterpart, Christine Kalumba.
In a joint statement read by the two ladies, they called for sustainable peace in the region, denounced rape, discrimination and other vices against the women.
“We have decided to be bridges of peace towards fostering sustainable peace in the region, and when women get peace, the whole world becomes peaceful and stable,” Kalumba said.
The function was graced by the acting Mayor of Rubavu, Evariste Bizimana and North Kivu Governor, Jules Paluku, both of whom lauded the women from both countries for promoting peace.