New Project Kicks-Off to Support Women Peacebuilders in Congo’s Artisanal Mining Communities

New Project Kicks-Off to Support Women Peacebuilders in Congo’s Artisanal Mining Communities

The Women of Peace project launches ahead of International Women’s Day, providing women in Democratic Republic of Congo with support and training on conflict resolution

March 8, 2019—Ottawa, Canada

IMPACT is excited to mark International Women’s Day with activities to kick off a new project to support women’s security and gender equality in Democratic Republic of Congo’s artisanal gold mining communities.

The Women of Peace project supports women artisanal miners to become peacebuilders in their communities. The project supports women to be at the heart of peaceful solutions to conflicts relevant to them, their families, and communities.

A public presentation on Women, Peace and Security, led by Julienne Lusenge from the Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix Intégrale (SOFEPADI) and Faida Mwangilwa from the Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaise (FFC) was held in Ituri Province’s Mambasa Territory for local community members and authorities. The Congolese women human rights activists spoke about the need for women to be present at the decision making table when it comes to peace and security.

“There will never be peace if women don’t participate in peace negotiations. Women have to actively and equally participate in all peace negotiations. This is what [UN Security Resolution 1325] says—and our country [the Democratic Republic of Congo], has ratified this resolution, because it has accepted that we have a place in peace negotiations. And not only in negotiations, but in conflict resolution at all levels,” SOFEPADI’s President Julienne Lusenge told the gathered community members in Mambasa.

In partnership with the first network of women artisanal miners in Ituri Province, the Network of Women in Mining Communities (known by its French acronym REAFECOM), the project has launched Peace Hubs located at the artisanal mining communities and mine sites. The Peace Hub members will be trained in conflict prevention and resolution, with women gaining new skills in mediation and negotiation.

The Peace Hubs will also organize a series of dialogues across the communities on Women, Peace and Security—allowing women in the area to actively participate in local efforts towards peace and non-violence.

“Women and girls face important risks in artisanal mining communities—whether due to the isolated nature of the mine sites, the fact that mineral wealth may attract armed groups or public security forces, or the continued question of who benefits from natural resources. Women need the space and support to raise their concerns and propose solutions on these issues that are vital to their security. With the Women of Peace project, we’re providing negotiation and mediation skills to women, supporting their active participation in efforts towards peace,” said Joanne Lebert, IMPACT’s Executive Director.

The Women of Peace project is funded through the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and Global Affairs Canada.

Read more about the Women of Peace project here.

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Media Contact:
Zuzia Danielski
Communications Director, IMPACT
+1-613-263-0661 / In DRC: +243-990-416-338
zdanielski@impacttransform.org

IMPACT, formerly Partnership Africa Canada, transforms how natural resources are managed in areas where security and human rights are at risk. We investigate and develop approaches for natural resources to improve security, development, and equality. We are an independent non-profit collaborating with local partners for lasting change. www.impacttransform.org