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On International Women's Day, honoring a woman who told the world about rape in Congo

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March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. To commemorate the achievements and ongoing challenges women face in some of the world’s most devastating conflicts, Enough is publishing profiles each day this week of women doing exceptional work to end atrocities and support survivors in Congo, Sudan, and LRA-affected territory.

“Because I Had To”

"I am a storyteller by trade. I remain committed to telling the stories of women of the African diaspora, particularly those stories that don’t often find their way into the mainstream media. Sexual violence against the women of Congo is one of the great human rights crises in the world today, and I am using the tools that I have at my disposal to raise awareness and draw attention to the situation; those tools are my imagination and my storytelling skills. I feel the onus is on all of us who have the ability to reach audiences to try and bring an end to the scourge. I cannot bear to live in a world where such horrific things are happening to my African sisters without doing whatever I can to help them. Silence is complicity. I believe that. Our silence on this issue sends a message to the Congolese government that it can continue to rape the land and its people with impunity. Our silence on this issue means that every time we use cell phones, we are inadvertently fueling a war that is being fought on the backs of women.

Why did I go to Africa to collect their stories? Because I had to."


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