All are welcome!
Julienne Lusenge is Director of the Fund for Congolese Women and the President of Women’s Solidarity for Peace and Intergrated Development (SOFEPADI), a coalition of 40 women’s organizations in the Eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SOFEPADI works to defend and protect women’s rights and provide support to survivors of sexual violence by advocating for justice. Julienne became an activist in 1998 when inter-ethnic war arrived at her doorstep. After witnessing members of armed groups raping and brutalizing women in her community, Julienne was compelled to act. She began documenting the cases of abuse and condemning the acts in public. She challenged the leaders of the armed groups in writing, demanding that they cease using violence against women in their war.
Julienne and SOFEPADI actively promote acceptance of survivors and reintegration into their communities. She has acted as coordinator of the National Campaign of Congolese Women Against Sexual Violence and is Director of the Congolese Women’s Fund. But Julienne’s work extends beyond the borders of the DRC, as she sits on the Advisory Committee of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. She has advocated for UN action to stop rape as a weapon of war. Julienne has been internationally recognized for her work, receiving the Human Rights Award from the Embassy of France in 2012. The French government selected her as a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2013. In 2016, Juliene is the esteemed recipient of Amnesty International USA’s 2016 Ginetta Sagan Award. This award is given in recognition of Ms. Lusenge’s tireless work over the past 30 years to defend and promote women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This talk will be in French with translation provided.