Effort will begin on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
and culminate on International Human Rights Day
Washington, DC – November 24, 2008 – November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marks the beginning of an international effort to organize 16 days of activism against gender violence around the world. The Enough Project is calling on the public to sign its petition asking the U.S. government to act immediately to end the violence against women and children in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since 1996, rape has been used as a weapon of war in the region; more than 200,000 women and children have been raped and brutalized in a decade-old conflict. The Enough Project is asking all Americans to stand in solidarity with the thousands of Congolese women and girls over the next 16 days. Citizens can take action by signing the petition to President-elect Obama asking his administration to create a plan by March 8, 2009 that will end that violence and to report back one year later on the progress.
The online petition can be found at: www.raisehopeforcongo.org
“Ordinary Americans can have an extraordinary impact in ending the violence and atrocities against women and girls in the Congo,” said Enough Co-chair John Prendergast. “We are asking everyone to help protect and empower Congo’s women and girls. Multiplied a million times, each individual action will make a powerful statement against violence,” Prendergast said.
The 16 days of activism will culminate on December 10 – International Human Rights Day.
The RAISE Hope for Congo campaign is a multi-year national effort to raise awareness about the crisis and the solutions needed to end the Congo conflict. Since August, violence in the Congo has escalated, leaving more than 250,000 people displaced. Over the past ten years, the conflict has claimed more than 5.4 million lives and continues to take an estimated 45,000 lives every month.
The “16 Days Campaign” originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, to symbolically link violence against women and human rights. This year’s campaign is dedicated to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and underscoring that human rights cannot be universal without human rights for women.
To learn more about the Enough Project’s RAISE Hope for Congo campaign, visit www.raisehopeforcongo.org.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about Enough and what you can do to help, visit www.enoughproject.org.