In practice there is almost total exemption from punishment for the majority of human rights abuse in Congo, not least for violence against women.

The Lawyers

“With armed guards for protection.”


Who:
Hina Jilani and Asma Jahangir
What:
As lawyers, they pursue questions relating to women’s human rights.


The Lawyer

“Sometimes I sit in the courtroom and hold her hand, or stroke her back. I don’t want her to feel she is alone.”


Who:
Susanne Croné-Morell
What:
Is the victim’s own lawyer – the plaintiff’s lawyer.  


The Statisticians

“Mutilations are the worst.”


Who:
Aurat Foundation
What:
Create the only statistics on violence against women by reading every word of the country’s newspapers.


The Village Mother

“I used to sit up at night waiting for him to come home and beat me.”


Who:
Motshidisi
What:
Uses her position as “village mother” to work against violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS.  

Both Motshidisi’s daughter and her ex-husband died of AIDS. Since then she has talked and talked and talked about the disease - and about the violence. Slowly, people are beginning to respond.


The Doctors

“No-one really knows how to circumcise a woman.”


Who:
Magda Adly and Joseph Kamel.
What: Magda works with rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence in the home, and Joseph is a local doctor.  


The Midwife

“When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.” 


Who:
Enayat Abdelhanid
What: Midwife who has changed her opinion and is now opposed to genital mutilation.

“I used to circumcise up to twenty girls a day, and I was paid in money, tea and sugar. We used to cut out three parts. We held the girl down and she usually screamed. When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.”


Panzi Hospital

“Would a male lion destroy a female lion’s genitals? It’s unthinkable.”  


Who:
Panzi Hospital
What:
Treats survivors of sexual violence and women with severe gynaecological problems.


The Night Patrol

“I never think about tomorrow. I think about what’s happening now.”   


Who:
Ahmed Samy Ali and Khaled Abo-El Fadl.
What: Social workers who seek out street children.

In the front of the vehicle there are some seats and a table. On the table is a notebook. At the back of the bus there is an open space with a pile of newspapers in a corner.  


The Judge

“We see a lot of trifling matters here at the same time as other victims don’t even report serious crimes such as incest.”


Who:
Paloma Mari
What: Is a judge in one of Spain’s specialised courts for violence against women.


The Listeners

“Conversation could do more good than all the medicine in the world.”


Who:
CAMPS (Centre D’Assistance Medico–Psychosociale)
What:
Gives psychosocial support to families who have been subjected to violence in South Kivu.


The Inspiration For A Law

The number of cases reported to the police is growing by the day.”


Who:
Maria Da Penha
What:
Brazil’s new law on violence against women bears her name. She herself runs an institute to spread information about the law.