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Giving a voice to women as agents of change in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Montreal, June 14, 2023 Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is proud to announce the launch of a new project focused on women and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The six-year Electoral Education and Inclusive Governance Program in the DRC (EEGIR, for its French acronym) is financed by Global Affairs Canada.

The EEGIR program will be deployed throughout the DRC in partnership with the National Episcopal Commission of Congo (CENCO) at 29 diocese-level “dynamic women’s nuclei” that are part of the Dynamic Women initiative of the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission (CJEP, for its French acronym). The programming will reach an estimated 10 million women.

The EEGIR program will focus on:

  1. Improving inclusive governance through civic and electoral education on civil and political and women’s rights
  2. Reducing the educational, cultural and economic barriers faced by women
  3. Mobilizing women and marginalized citizens to increase their participation in elections and political life

Sr. Nathalie Kangaj, national coordinator of Dynamic Women of the CJEP, said, “the EEGIR program is a great opportunity for us because it is part of the fight against discriminatory attitudes towards women and marginalized people and negative perceptions linked to socio-cultural norms, illiteracy and lack of knowledge of rights. The program will help change mentalities and foster the growth of women’s representation at all levels of authority.”

To achieve its objectives, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada and its partners will conduct various activities, including:

  • Awareness-raising audiovisual programs and civic and electoral education campaigns for 1.5 to 2 million young girls and boys
  • An enhanced literacy program for 20,000 women that also focuses on their rights of expression, citizenship and politics
  • Training 3,000 observers (including 2,200 women) for the December 2023 and 2028 elections

Programs officer Cécile Famerée said, “Peace and democracy require the inclusion of women at all levels of society. Giving them the ability to read, write, express themselves and mobilize is a decisive step towards making their voices heard.”

About Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. It works in partnership with local organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East to create greater justice in the world and to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable people.

For more information, contact:

Minaz Kerawala
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada
514 257-8710 ext. 328 | mkerawala@devp.org

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