In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, several activists and others concerned with the reproductive rights of women and girls joined in a September 28th Day of Action celebration in South Kivu, organized by Pathfinder’s local sexual and reproductive rights coalition members. The event’s theme was “Congolaise, unite efforts for the recognition of our rights to sexual and reproductive health in DR Congo!”
The event included three substantial presentations: Madame Viviane Sebahire of Solidarité des Femmes pour le Développement Intégral (SOFEDI) presented on contraceptive methods and the consequences of illegal abortions; Master Giulia Mushagalusa presented the international and national instruments upholding sexual and reproductive rights ratified without reservation by the DR Congo; and Lily Civava and Viviane Sebahire translated into local language Article 14 of the Maputo Protocol of the African Union, which spells out the necessity for women to have the right to safe abortion as part of their reproductive health. The Maputo Protocols have been signed AND ratified by the DR Congo government. A petition for the government to uphold the Maputo Protocol was prepared by another Pathfinder partner – Observatoire de la Parité, the women lawyers’ advocacy group – and event participants all provided their signatures.
Radio Okapi also supported the event in helping to spread the messages and report on the activities.