Development as advocacy? Violence against women in the context of war in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo : a challenge to the church.
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Apart from women being particularly vulnerable to sexual violence in wartime, war has a devastating effect on women’s economic and social activities. The study argues that sexual violence against women in the Eastern DRC is the major factor that leads to women’s vulnerability to poverty and their well-being. This dissertation seeks to examine and analyze how the development of women in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been affected by war. Although the study explores the day-to-day lives of women in war torn Eastern Congo who have been sexually violated during war, it, has as its main aim to articulate various issues that women have faced in the context of ongoing war, and above all to understand how the church can advocate for their well-being. In order to investigate these issues the study was designed to meet three main objectives: 1) To explore and explain what development of women constitutes in the given context 2) To investigate the extent to which the sexual violence in the war torn region in Eastern DRC has impacted on women’s development. 3) To examine in what ways the Church is advocating for women’s development in the context of war and sexual violence. The results from the study show that the war has had a negative psychological and physical effect on the women in the war zone to an extent that they can no longer effectively participate in economic activities that enable them to provide for their families. According to the findings, this has been partly due to the total destruction of the instruments of economic production, particularly in the Eastern Congo where the mainstay is agriculture.