The RAISE Hope for Congo campaign has been celebrating International Women’s Day throughout the month of March. On March 8, we joined a global effort to show that women can build the bridges of peace by marching across the Arlington Memorial Bridge here in Washington, D.C. Last week, we teamed up with NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and TakePart.com to educate millions of new people about epidemic of rape and conflict minerals in Congo. So far, this month has been both impactful and inspiring!
But it’s not over yet. We need your help one last time this month! Congolese women’s rights advocate and lawyer, Sylvie Maunga, spoke about the struggles that women face in Congo at our Women’s Day rally in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Sylvie said that countless women told her that what they really want is peace. They don’t want hand-outs. They can take care of themselves and their families. But what Congolese women need help with, and what they really want, is peace.
So please take just a few minutes to make sure that these women’s voices are heard. It’s been nearly eight months since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to eastern Congo and said that she would “be pressing very hard not just for assistance to help those being abused and mistreated … particularly the women who are being turned into weapons of war through the rape they experience … but also for ways to try to end this conflict." In the time that has passed since this hopeful statement, the U.S. Department of State has yet to develop and begin implementing a clear and comprehensive policy to end the conflict by addressing its root causes.
Urge Secretary Clinton to follow-through on her hopeful rhetoric and start taking action.
TEXT Secretary Clinton at 90822 with the following message:
Congo’s women want peace. What’s your plan to end the war?
You can also send her an email with this simple but important message:
Women in Congo want peace. It’s been nearly 8 months since your trip. I want to know what you will do to address the root causes of the conflict.
Please also share this action with your friends and family, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends. The more messages we send, the more we amplify the voices of countless Congolese women who have asked for our help.
To learn more about the plight of women in Congo, read Sylvie Maunga’s blog post, “Congo’s Women on the Front Lines of a War for Wealth,” which appeared last week on Law & Order’s blog. Actress Mariska Hargitay and John Prendergast also teamed up to write about actions we can all take to help address the root causes of Congo’s war and the empower women who are fighting back. Find out how you can join the movement and get involved in actions for this special month dedicated to women by visiting www.raisehopeforcongo.org/womensday.
Photo: Activists march across a bridge in Washington on International Women’s Day (Enough/Laura Heaton)