Date: Monday, April 12, 2010
reception includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, an opportunity to
meet Lisa Shannon, and VIP seating at the lecture.
How has the world’s deadliest war affected women in Congo? While the United Nations identifies Congo as having the worst sexual violence in the
world, what role should the international community play in combating
rape as a tool of warfare? How have individual women and families
transcended the violence in their communities and why is it important
to share their stories?
The war in Congo, also known as Africa’s World War, began in August 1996 in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, formerly Zaire. The war officially ended in July 2003, but
violence has persisted until this day. Over 5.5 million people are
estimated dead as a result of the conflict and related disease and
famine. The war has involved eight African nations, leaving over 2
million people internally displaced and more than 300,000 Congolese
refugees in neighboring countries. In recent years, international
attention has been paid to the high rate of sexual violence in war-torn
Congo, with the United Nations recording at least 200,000 cases of
sexual violence in eastern Congo alone since the conflict erupted in
1996. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to
Kinshasa, the capital of Congo, in August 2009 to highlight what she
called “truly one of mankind’s greatest atrocities” and the urgent need
to combat gender-based violence as a weapon of war.
The World Affairs Council presents Author and Founder of “Run for Congo Women” Lisa Shannon.
Run for Congo Women is a global effort to raise awareness and support
the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have sponsored more
than a thousand war-affected Congolese women through Women for Women
International. These women are raising more than 5000 children. She
traveled solo into Eastern Congo’s South Kivu province for five and
half weeks in January- February 2007, and again in May 2008.
ban ki moon