MONUSCO celebrates “Women’s Month” with Trade school students in Uvira

MONUSCO celebrates “Women’s Month” with Trade school students in Uvira
4 Apr 2016

MONUSCO celebrates “Women’s Month” with Trade school students in Uvira

Uvira, 4 April 2016 – The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo actively participated in a conference-debate in Uvira to mark the end of the Women’s Day celebrations as commemorated the whole of the month of March in the DRC “ Women’s Month. “ The theme of the conference revolved around: “The forms of discrimination faced by women in their way towards emancipation”.

Activities to commemorate the Women’s Day were organized throughout the Territory of Uvira: Mutarule and the City. Monusco and its partners including the Gender Unit in Uvira took the opportunity to sensitize participants to the needs for mainstreaming the Gender issue into All the policies and actions to take; After being sensitized, women and young girls recognized that they were marginalized and did not enjoy equal treatment with men due to their customs and traditions.

During a Woman’s Forum organized in Uvira on 23 March, MONUSCO urged the 150 women participants to stand up for their rights. MONUSCO repeated the same appeal during the closing ceremonies to mark the “Women’s Event”, insisting on the need for young girls to be given proper education and to be empowered like men, of course through financial empowerment to achieve economic freedom. Women’s education is therefore critical as Christine Lagarde, Director of the International Monetary Fund nicely put it, “education is a lift and a stepping stone which may help to move up in the society and remove barriers.” Education remains the best way to achieve social advancement and freedom (economic, political, social, family etc.)

Echoing the United Nations Secretary-General’s statement in September 2015 during a high level meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment, on the sideline of the Summit on sustainable development, Monusco-Uvira public information officer noted that, “unfortunately, many women and girls continue to be subjected to discrimination, violence, and to be denied equal chance in the areas of education, employment and excluded from management and decision-making positions.”

To the 128 participants, including 78 men and 50 women, who participated to the conference-debate last Saturday, he urged them to stand up against all forms of discriminations and violence against women: “don’t keep quiet and indifferent when eye witnessing scenes of violence against women or young girls, please denounce the perpetrators, do act" to change the mindset and perception of the Gender equality issue.

While acknowledging the role of each citizen to revert the trend, the speaker recalled Government’s responsibility to show “political will” in emancipating women, as Ban Ki-Moon suggested during the high-level meeting in 2015, The States have the “power and responsibility to ensure gender equality – and to make it a national priority.” To this end, they should “develop and implement coherent policies in favor of the gender equality,” and allocate “adequate funding” to “monitor the progress made, as part of their responsibilities.”

The Director General of the Institut Supérieur de Commerce ISC-d’Uvira, Cephas Masumboko Ndabaga, on behalf of his school and the participants, voiced gratitude to MONUSCO for its assistance in organizing this activity. He took the opportunity to urge the students to prioritize education. “Do struggle, impose yourself, take initiatives to remove the barriers and discriminations you are confronted with”, he said, when closing the ceremony. Then the participants were treated to some cultural and festive events. 

Jean-Tobie Okala

Photos: MONUSCO/Jean-Tobie OKALA