Voices of Peace and Women’s Empowerment

While working in the DRC, Care Through Action discovered that not only were women of Eastern Congo being subjected to violence, but also, that they are isolated and disempowered in their communities.  In response, we founded Voix de la Paix, or “Voices of Peace,” a collaboration between Care Through Action and Abigail Disney’s Peace is Loud Foundation, run by our founder, Alissa Everett.

Voix de la Paix focuses on using Abby’s film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, about a women’s movement that helped end the civil war in Liberia, in peace-building in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   Through screenings and workshops, Voix de la Paix is encouraging thoughtful discussions on activism and peace-building across the DRC among community leaders, law enforcement, activists, politicians and victims of sexual violence.

PRAY has been screened several times in 2010 and 2011 in Kinshasa, Goma and Bukavu, in both French and Swahili, provoking compelling discussions on the role of women in the Congolese community, the origins of sexual violence, the potential role of women in peace-building, and the role of men as partners to women in peace.

One specific screening to in March 2010 to university students at the Université Protestante du Congo (UPC) in Kinshasa incited reactions such as:

“Since I was a child, I used to say that women were more powerful than men.  Most of people never believed me, but now I have confirmed that it is true.”

– A female university student in Kinshasa

“I didn’t understand that women could fight for peace.  It’s a big surprise to me.”

 

“The thing that is really important is that women themselves are the power.  These women were not in government… they were nothing.”

“Before this movie I didn’t think women could do anything.  And now I know they can do something.”

– Male university students in Kinshasa

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