In theory, living in the capital of a nation should afford women some form of protection against crime and violence, but in Kinshasa, abusing women is something that occurs on a daily basis. Clara, age 16, described how two men posing as policemen, “threw me on the ground and raped me.” She shared the experience that hundreds of other women in the capital have endured. As armed soldiers in the eastern section of the country rape and pillage without fear of retribution, women in the capital are now facing a similar fear of being violated by those who supposedly represent forces of law and order. Doctor Arthur Ngoy, says in his medical unit there are three daily cases of rape he has to treat, many of them resulting in pregnancy.
Last week, several thousand women took to the streets of the capital demanding an end to rape and violence. As a 2008 UN report noted, “Congolese women lie in a soul-destroying environment in which they are ;undervalued, discriminated against, and sexually assaulted.” It is doubtful if protests will end this violence against women.