On Tuesday December 10, 2013, U.S. Embassy Kinshasa hosted a panel discussion to commemorate International Human Rights Day and mark the end of the Embassy’s 16 days of activism against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). The panel, hosted by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs section in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), featured five experts including Leonie Kandolo , Director of the NGO “Protection , Child, AIDS,” Ruffin Lukoo , Author of two books on sexual violence in the DRC and Brazzaville, Jacqueline Rumbu , Director of the National Agency Against Violence to Women and Girls in the DRC, Louise Bashige, Technical Advisor at Interchurch Medical Assistance, and Marcel Ntumba, Social Protection Specialist at USAID/DRC.
Each panelist presented on their specific area of expertise followed by a lively Q&A session. Questions related to SGBV that were posted by the Embassy’s Facebook fans were also posed to the expert panel.
The panel provided insights on the legal framework of SGBV in the DRC and highlighted the need to support the implementation of such laws. Both practitioners and implementing partners were able to elaborate on differences between law and practice by discussing examples that they had encountered in their work. The discussion also focused on USAID’s vision and programming for SGBV and how the U.S. Embassy counters SGBV through a multi-agency approach. Representatives from non-governmental organizations, journalists, and students from universities in Kinshasa participated in the event.