The Greatest Silence:

Rape in Congo

A Film by Lisa Jackson

For over ten years now, a war has been raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To date, over 5.4 million people have been killed, and many more have been tortured, beat, and raped – most of them women. Through kidnapping, mutilation, rape and torture, the soldiers of both foreign militias and the Congolese army are holding women hostage in their own country.

In 2006, Emmy Award winning producer/director Lisa F. Jackson spent the year in the war zones of eastern DRC. She documented the tragic situation women and girls are forced to deal with as they stand in the middle of a country's conflict they did not create, and cannot control.

Jackson was given privileged access to not only the horrific realities of life in the DRC, but was also shown the resilience, strength, courage and grace of the people of the DRC. With the help of Women for Women International's Country Director, Christine Karumba, she interviewed participants in our program. As a rape survivor herself, she felt that the women of the Congo opened up to her to share their stories. In the Greatest Silence, Jackson shares them with the world.

What You Can Do Today

Every day, women arrive at our office, and even line up outside our Country Directors home, seeking the opportunity to rebuild their lives. To join our program is their salvation. Since 1993, Women for Women International has strived to help women survivors of war find strength within themselves to move forward and rebuild their lives, their communities, and, ultimately, their country. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone we have...

  • Enrolled over 21,066 women into the program and served nearly 114,00 family and community members since 2004.
  • Provide women with the opportunity to earn a living by giving them job skills training in areas like agriculture, petty trading, basket making, and tie-dying.
  • Educated women on practical skills like rights awareness, health, literacy, and business training.

With the help of women like Lisa Jackson, and programs like 60 Minutes, Women for Women International has been able to deliver our lifesaving programs to women who have lost everything but hope. But there is still so much to be done. Watch HBO Promo.

A Conversation with Director, Lisa F. Jackson

Lisa F. Jackson has been involved in documentary filmmaking for over 30 years. Her work has brought her many awards including three Emmy nominations, two Emmy awards and four CINE Golden Eagles. Her most recent documentary, "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo" won a special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

"My objectives in making this film are political and personal. I am propelled by the urgency to expose an unimaginable, growing, humanitarian crisis, and I have my own personal quest to understand the universal stigmas that attach rape and its survivors."

Lisa F. Jackson's film, The Greatest Silence, is featured on Women Make Movies. You can purchase a copy of the film, or find more information about the film by visiting

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