Jan 2014 – Dec 2019
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been called one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman. Eastern DRC is a region known for high levels of sexual and gender-based violence. Various programs have been initiatated to help survivors of sexual violence. In this project Norwegian and Congolese researchers will collaborate on research to improve the situation for women in Eastern DRC by studying for survivors of sexual violence and others are benefitting from support programs.
Successful presentation of work in progress at the Network of Peace Scientists (NEPS) conference in Milan, Italy, 20-22 June 2016.
Christine Amisi and Ragnhild Nordås presented ongoing work in the project to the NEPS conference, focusing on some of the key preliminary results from the SSSV survey - Survey of Survivors of Sexual Violenc - and the City of Joy survey.
Christine spent two days at PRIO discussing the joint project and presenting the work on a brownbag at PRIO on 17 June 2016. The brownbag was well attended and garned a lot of interest from both PRIO researchers and other visitors.
In 2015, the project has made significant progress.
Of the most important milestones is a survey of 1200 women in South Kivu province (the SSSV survey - Survey of Survivors of Sexual Violence), which was carried out in July 2015 by the Congolese partner using locally trained enumerators. The survey was done in the territories of Kalehe, Kabare, Walungu, and Mwenga.
For the next few months, PRIO and ICART researchers will be collaborating on analyzing the data and writing joint papers and briefs based on this material.
The initial descriptive statistics were presented to various key collaborators and others in Bukavu in November 2015.
The second important recent milestone is 3-week training conducted in November 2015.
The training focused on various topics, including statistical methods using the software R, making survey questionnaires on tablets using ODK software, research design for social sciences, and academic presentations.
Gudrun Østby recently blogged (in Norwegian) about training we did in Bukavu DRC in November 2015. Read the blog post here.
The project is based on a partnership between the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the International Centre for Advanced Research and Training (ICART) in DRC. This centre is a collaborative initiative between researchers from the Panzi Hospital, Panzi Foundation DRC, and the Université Evangelique en Afrique in Bukavu, DRC.
Dr. Denis Mukwege, who represents the Congolese partner in this project, is the founder and Medical Director of the General Referral Hospital Panzi in Bukavu, DRC, where he has been working with treating survivors of sexual violence and women with severe gynecological problems for over 15 years. Apart from having treated thousands of women and being considered one of the globally leading experts on repairing the physical damage from rape and sexual violence, Dr Mukwege is one of the world’s most visible advocates for women’s rights and quality health care for all.
The project has three parts:
building local research capacity through workshops and intensive training of ICART researchers in topics such as research methodology and academic publishing, particularly for female researchers;
investigating how survivors of sexual and gender-based violence can be empowered and reintegrated into society through socioeconomic support programs; and
understanding gender relations in the area more broadly by considering both gender roles and intimate partner violence. Here we will explore general perceptions and attitudes towards gender roles and the potential for strengthening gender equality.
We combine surveys and in-depth interviews. Research is being carried out and disseminated through close collaboration between researchers based in Norway and the DRC. Our aim is that findings from the project can be used by policy-makers and NGOs to set up more efficient programs to empower women and prevent sexual violence in the future. The project will generate knowledge within a field of critical importance globally and for Norway's development aid policy, and lessons from the project will also be relevant beyond the Congolese context.
On Monday 10 December, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize will be formally presented to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. PRIO congratulates the two laureates on the prize in recognition of their important work.
The second issue in 2017 the PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update is now out.
The lead story in this issue includes an interview with researchers Christine Amisi (ICART) and Gudrun Østby (PRIO) about their research on support programmes for survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
PRIO Congolese partners Dr. Denis Mukwege and Dr. Christine Amisi visited PRIO in late April and early May. They work together with PRIO to improve the situation for women in Eastern DRC by studying the impact of various support programs for survivors of rape and sexual violence.
In October the PRIO-team working on the project 'Female Empowerment in Eastern DRC' visited Bukavu in order to conduct a three week Basic Training in Peace and Conflict studies, Research Methodology, GIS, and Academic Writing (13-29 October). This training was part of the project's Work Package 1, which aim is to build local research capacity through workshops and intensive training of ICART researchers in various topics related to research and research methodology.
The project Female Empowerment in Eastern DRC is proceeding according to the plan laid out in the initial kick-off meeting of the project team in January. We have spent some time on further developing the work packages – particularly conceptualization of key concepts, deciding on research sites and selection criteria, and the research design. In June, two Focus Group discussions have been carried out as a pilot study.
The first 2014 issue of the GPS Update features a report from a seminar at PRIO with Betty Bigombe, former chief mediator in the conflict between the Lord's resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman. Eastern DRC is a region with massive levels of sexual and gender-based violence. Norwegian and Congolese researchers will collaborate on research to improve the situation for women in Eastern DRC. Today, funds for this project have been granted by the Research Council of Norway (NORGLOBAL).
Journal Article in International Journal for Equity in Health
Journal Article in Medicine, Conflict and Survival
Popular Article in The Washington Post / Monkey Cage
Journal Article in Quality in Primary Care