Gege Katana, coordinator of Kvinna till Kvinna's partner organization SOFAD in DR Congo. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Anna Lithander
Gege Katana, coordinator of Kvinna till Kvinna's partner organization SOFAD in DR Congo. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Anna Lithander

Congolese activists plan for a women's month

2013-03-08

Interview with Gege Katana, Coordinator of Kvinna till Kvinna partner organization SOFAD (Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humains) in DR Congo.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you as an activist and to SOFAD as an organization?
– In DR Congo, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect about the status and the situation of women in the society today and to hold the political and administrative leadership accountable for promises made on improving the situation of women. It’s also a moment of reflecting on the successes and the failures of the past year and of drawing up strategies for the upcoming year. However, for SOFAD this year, it’s actually not about a women’s day; we actually plan to make the whole month of March into a month of women!

What are your plans for this month of women?
– We are planning several activities to acknowledge women leaders on village level, who work hard throughout the year to promote women’s rights, but who rarely receive any kind of recognition. Also, we will organize a day on the theme which has been chosen for International Day of Women for 2013: "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women". During this day, we will bring together activists for women’s rights, other civil society leaders, politicians, officials and traditional leaders to debate on strategies on combating sexual violence against women and girls in Uvira Territory.

Will there be activities during this month linked to the two projects that you are currently managing in partnership with Kvinna till Kvinna?
Absolutely! One theme that we insist on in our work is women’s leadership and participation in decision-making forums, particularly when it comes to peace building. Both these projects, Women, Citizenship and Peace (in partnership with International Alert) and Building the Capacities of Women and Girls to Monitor, Manage, Process and Solve Conflicts have as their cornerstone these themes, and are important vehicles for forwarding our message. The women’s month will be an occasion to present to a bigger audience the results of a baseline study that we have conducted in the south of South Kivu on women’s participation in conflict resolution.

Katarina Carlberg,
field representative for DR Kongo