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New reports: Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Violence in DRC

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31 March 2016
New reports: Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Violence in DRC

Launched for International Women’s Day on 8 March are a triumvirate of reports highlighting aspects of gender, sexuality and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The country is known internationally for the conflict-affected sexual violence that has scarred a very large number of victims.

The first report Getting the balance right? Sexual violence response in the DRC: A comparison between 2011 and 2014  compared the effects and effectiveness of sexual violence response programmes in 2011 and 2014. The central argument of this report is that while there have been some gains, such as victim-oriented support widening to community-based response, greater attention being paid to other forms of gender-based violence, and other medical needs becoming more recognised, conflict-affected rape still remains the focus of international rhetoric. This makes it difficult to scrutinise programmes for effectiveness. Plus a major concern is that accusations of sexual violence are often used for revenge or extortion, and as a result citizens are more disengaged with the issue. To effect change, six recommendations are proposed.

This publication is based on a joint research project between the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) and the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP). 

The second report Women engaging in transactional sex and working in prostitution: Practices and underlying factors of the sex trade in South Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo examines the importance of transactional sex as an element in women’s survival strategies and seeks to understand women’s motivations and their agency in engaging in prostitution and transactional sex.

Finally, transactional sex is just one of the coping mechanisms that women adopt in humanitarian crisis. In The many faces of transactional sex: Women’s agency, livelihoods and risk factors in humanitarian contexts: A Literature Review, the authors explore its complex relationship with livelihoods and the multiple risks and vulnerabilities that women engaging in it face.

Photo credit: © Gwenn Dubourthoumieu