A recent State Department map highlights the relationship between systems of justice and cases of violence against women around the world. The map usefully illustrates how ending what the Enough and others have called a “culture of impunity” is essential to halting the horrific epidemics of gender-based violence occurring today in places like eastern Congo.
In Congo, law enforcement as we know it is nonexistent, and access to justice is near impossible for women who survive brutal acts of sexual violence. Congolese women and girls are afraid to report these abuses for fear that they will be attacked by the very police who are supposed to protect them; for those that are able to identify their attackers, prosecution is slow and perpetrators often walk free by paying guards for their release.
The State Department map makes the connection between how including women at the highest levels of government—including in the justice system— can make a difference in ending the culture of impunity, empowering women and promoting gender equality, and in giving women a voice in rebuilding their communities and their own lives.
Read this Los Angeles Times article about local and international efforts to end the culture of impunity in eastern Congo and visit our Raise Hope for Congo Campaign site to learn what you can do to make a difference.