In conflict affected countries like South Sudan and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) the threat of gender based violence sharply increases.
- In South Sudan, 65% of women and girls have experienced violence
South Sudan is one of the most difficult places in the world to live. After a decades-long war in which over two million people were killed, the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Independence gave hope that a new and peaceful chapter could start. Sadly, the country has remained wracked with violence and hunger.
- In DRC over 1.9 million have experienced rape
DRC has been affected by decades of brutal armed conflict. Rape has been used widely as a tactic by armed groups, and happens with alarming frequency.
Trócaire works with communities to provide counselling and legal support to survivors of gender based violence. We work with men and women to change attitudes and behaviours to prevent violence from happening in the first place. We also campaign for laws that protect women and respect their rights and dignity.
Women in conflict also face economic pressures and the trauma of displacement. Many lose their partners, homes and possessions.
Two brave survivors of conflict feature on this year’s Trócaire Lent box. Awut and Ajak, widows and mothers who were forced to flee their homes in South Sudan.
They travelled for days without food and water. They supported eachother each step of the way. Now through Trócaire donations, our local partners on the ground, Caritas Rumbek have given them the support to start their own farm and they are also members of a savings group. As a result, both mothers are able to provide and care for their families.
Trócaire works to challenge the marginalisation of women and funds women’s empowerment programmes in 14 countries. Last year, these programmes supported 185,000 people.
On International Women’s Day, we thank you for helping us to support such brave and resilient women around the world.
This year’s Lent campaign is focusing on helping women and families survive in a time of conflict. Find out more: www.trocaire.org/lent