To mark the celebration of International Women’s Day 2018 in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we took part in a business fair organised at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa.
The Alert team displayed a photo exhibition to track the course of cross-border women traders. Women that engage in cross-border trade often face harassment along their journey. After undergoing training that provides women traders with knowledge on how to protect themselves from harassment and stand up for their rights, there has been a 60% drop in cases of physical and verbal abuse during border crossing. True to the message of International Women’s Day, visitors at the fair had the opportunity to hear about the women that are making a change in the DRC, overcoming barriers and building peace in their communities.
The fair was organised jointly with the National Ministry of Gender, MONUSCO and Onufemme and included a visit from the National Minister of Gender, Child and Family – Mrs. Chantal Safu. Mrs.Safu was presented with materials detailing the stories of the trader women and joined a conversation about facilitating access to micro credit for women and the opportunities that are created for women through micro credit. The significant steps that have been taken to empower women and push for women’s rights were truly highlighted during the fair through the conversations that were held with members of the community and stories that were shared.
We joined up with members of the Rien Sans Les Femmes movement, which aims at empowering women as economic, political and social actors to lead to more representative institutions, and our partner Afia Mama, to promote gender equality and inclusiveness, sparking further conversations with visitors.
Step into the shoes of women traders
Take a look into the life of Maman Chantal, a tomato trader in the DRC and the cross-border journey she goes through.