We believe that supporting the economic, educational, and spiritual development of women is essential for the flourishing of communities in Congo. One way women’s empowerment is incorporated into Congo Initiative is through initiatives like UCBC’s Women’s Voices. Women’s Voices plays a crucial role in bringing discussions on gender equality and discrimination into conversation on UCBC’s campus and beyond.
Last month, UCBC’s Women’s Voices organized an event at UCBC to celebrate International Women’s Day: A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In a context where women are not often encouraged or expected to exercise leadership, such an event challenges the community to consider the injustice and reality of gender inequality in Congo.
In attendance were students, staff and parents from the UCBC community, United Nations representatives, women’s associations in Beni, women lawyers, and representatives from other local universities and schools.
Taking into consideration the United Nation’s International Women’s Day theme,“Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality,” the theme for this event was: “Equal Opportunities between Men and Women for Transforming the Nation.”
This theme was developed by Women’s Voices member, Adelphine Angemito, who invited the audience to reflect on the importance of women in development and to discuss ways to support gender equality in the following areas:
She also called women to understand and bear in mind that they need to take courageous steps to participate in all the aspects of development. She implored women to take action in the fight against discrimination, to love and trust one another, and aggressively work against ideas of inferiority. One lawyer from Beni, Madame Laurette, also spoke and encouraged women to take leadership roles and initiative.
At the end of the activity, there was a song sung by Women’s Voices. A call for women to rise and participate in the work needed to change their country.