Panzi: The incredible courage of women who survided sexual violence.

08 March 2021

On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March 2021, we would like to highlight the incredible courage of the women beneficiaries of our Panzi project in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than 1500 women and girls suffer sexual violence every year in the Panzi region. At the general hospital in Panzi, these women receive health care to treat physical trauma – and support each other to heal their psychological wounds.

Inauguration of 42 houses for women who survived sexual violence, D.R.C., 2020.

It was in March 2019, following the visit to Luxembourg of the hospital’s founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Mukwege, at the initiative of H.R.H. the Grand Duchess, that the Luxembourg Red Cross pledged to support the hospital by renovating a number of its wards and offering additional support to survivors of sexual violence, once they had recovered.

In fact, women who have been discharged from Panzi hospital show great solidarity and fight to regain a place in society, often being rejected by their community of origin. In particular, they actively participate in building new homes, or take part in workshops to become financially independent. The Luxembourg Red Cross supports them in their quest for justice to ensure that their rights are respected, in particular by contributing to the construction of legal clinics, with the support of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs as well as the European Union.