September 14, 2022
Addressing Sexual Violence in Eastern DRC – Testimonial
The Unsung Heroes project aims to shine a spotlight on inspiring women that we have met and worked with from all over the world who have fled conflict, who are survivors of sexual violence, and who are using their voices to advocate for women’s rights in their communities.
This collection of photographs and testimonies highlights daily acts of resistance that aim to re-establish and protect fundamental women’s rights that have been violated.
All 60 portraits and testimonies were produced in 2018 and 2019 and will lead to an exhibition which will immerse the viewer in the lives of the women through their stories, combining photos with written and oral testimonies. The project will be on show in France in autumn 2019 before being taken on a world tour in 2020.
Regardless of their social status, class, race, country, or age group, every year millions of women around the world become survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
At Doctors of the World, our teams work to prevent GBV by providing survivors with medical care, mental health support, and legal aid.
Not only do we work to provide care to GBV survivors during emergencies, but we also work within and alongside communities to raise awareness on the issue and to change attitudes towards violence against women.
Gender-based violence can encompass a variety of different injustices such as the intent to cause physical, sexual, psychological, or economic harm to a woman. GBV can also include the threat of such acts, coercion, and the arbitrary deprivation of a woman’s liberty.
While gender-based violence occurs in a variety of public settings such as conflict, it is largely rooted in the individual attitudes that condone violence against women within the family, the community, or the state. GBV often reflects the unequal distribution of power between men and women, for example men’s decision-making power over women, situations of social subordination, and economic devaluation. Incidences of GBV, and of sexual violence in particular, also spike during war and in post-disaster contexts such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis.