About the Women We Serve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Women care for 4 children on average

Average daily income is $1.46 at enrollment

57% have no formal education

Women and girls suffer disproportionately from high rates of violence and extreme poverty during times of conflict. No where is this more true than in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has grappled with wars, civil strife, and multiple rebellions since 1996. While peace has been re-established in most of the country, women and girls, particularly in Congo's eastern provinces, still suffer from gender-based violence. The use of rape and sexual assault to terrorize them, their families, and their communities continues. Exacerbated by the culture of impunity, violence against women and girls is pervasive and extends beyond armed groups to all of society.

Despite the violence and hardship, women like Claudine have not lost hope. With your help, the Women for Women International – Democratic Republic of the Congo team provides our yearlong training program for women, as well as programs to engage men.

Claudine's Story

Our Impact

Since 2004, Women for Women International – Democratic Republic of the Congo has served more than 95,000 women through our yearlong program in eastern Congo's North and South Kivu provinces.

After graduating from our program, women report positive changes in four key areas:

Women earn and save money: Women report average personal earnings of $3.29 per day at graduation, compared to $1.46 at enrollment.
Women develop health and well-being: More than 80 percent of participants report practicing family planning at graduation, compared to 1 percent at enrollment.
Women influence decisions in the home and community: Nearly 100 percent of participants report participating in household financial decision-making at graduation, compared to 64 percent at enrollment.
Women create and connect to networks for support and advocacy: More than 85 percent of participants report sharing information about their rights with other women at graduation, compared to 9 percent at enrollment.

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Engaging Men Changes Attitudes

Women’s empowerment requires widespread social change that involves both men and women. Women for Women International – Democratic Republic of the Congo team has successfully developed programming to engage men as allies in women’s empowerment by improving their knowledge about health, social, and economic issues that can negatively affect women. Over 9,400 male leaders have participated to date.

Workforce Training Partnerships

Since 2008, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported marginalized women in sub-Saharan Africa to gain new job skills, basic business training, life skills, and a support network. Bloomberg Philanthropies is currently supporting innovative workforce training for women in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Learn more about the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership