DR Congo

Officially, the war is over, but many militia groups remain in the jungles of eastern Congo, groups which attack the villages.

Officially, the war is over, but many militia groups remain in the jungles of eastern Congo, groups which attack the villages. Women are still being raped and murdered every night, and many people suffer from post-traumatic stress.

Population: 71.7 million (2011)

Religions: Roman Catholic 50 %, Protestant 20 %, Islam 10 %

Life expectancy: men 50 years, women 53 years (2006)

Literacy rate: men 67 %, women 54 % (2011)

Income inequality: Gini coefficient 0.44 (2006) *

Ranking on the Transparency International list of Corruption Perceptions in 183 countries: 168 (2011) **

Ranking on the UNDP Human Development Index of 146 countries, taking gender equality into account: 142 (2011) ***

Maternal deaths: Just over 900 deaths per l00,000 births ****

Number of children/woman: 5.2 (2011)

Abortion legislation: Abortion is forbidden, even when the mother’s life is at risk.

Law against rape within marriage: No

Violence against women in close relationships: 1.8 million women will be raped during their lifetime. Congo is the second most dangerous country in the world for a woman to live in.


* Gini coefficient:
An economic metric of inequality in a population, for example in income distribution. The Gini coefficient has a value of between 0 and 1, where 0 implies that the assets of all individuals are exactly the same (total equality) while 1 represents total inequality. The lower the Gini coefficient for income inequality, the greater the equality of distribution of salaries, profits, welfare benefits and other forms of compensation.

** Corruption:
In 2011, Transparency International ranked 183 countries according to how widespread corruption was in the country.  Position 1 on the list showed the country where corruption was least widespread, position 183 the greatest. Corruption within, for example, the police and justice systems has a marked influence on women’s lives.  

*** Equality:
Every year, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, measures human development in the world’s countries taking into account health, education and income, in the Human Development Index, HDI. In 2010 a new index was introduced: GII, Gender Inequality Index, which also takes gender equality into account. The countries are ranked from position 1 downwards.

****Maternal deaths:
The figures given by different sources vary considerably, although they all point to the difficulty of obtaining accurate figures. The figure of just over 900 has been arrived at by averaging out the figures from three sources: 

UN Population Fund: 1,100 for the year 2009 http://allafrica.com/stories/200912220954.html

WHO: 990 for the year 2000 http://www.who.int/whosis/mort/profiles/mort_afro_cod_demrepcongo.pdf 

CIA World Factbook: 670 for the year 2008: www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.htm


Swedish Institute of International Affairs
CIA World Factbook
World Resources Institute 
The genderindex.org
American Journal of Public Health
Transparency International