PeaceWomen of the Month
Our February 2018 PeaceWoman of the Month is Gégé Katana Bukuru. Gégé, a peace activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is one of the original 1000 PeaceWomen nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. In 2017, she received two additional awards, in October the prestigious Swedish Per Anger Prize and in July the European Soroptimists International Peace Prize.
«What gives me energy is success in the setting-up of peace centres in the villages: our principles of non-violence in action».
She has been profoundly committed to Sustain Nonviolence and Peace in South Kivu (DRC) since 2001, with SOFAD - Solidarity of Activist Women for the Defence of Human Rights, her organisation. The mission of SOFAD is to empower women in political decision-making in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as to strengthen women's participation for lasting peace. Gégé supports SOFAD’s work in creating so-called peace cells in villages and neighbourhoods to strengthen local women's rights. In 2017, she also organised one of our Women's Peace Tables.
Gégé is both a feminist and a pacifist and has been campaigning for women's rights for more than a quarter of a century. Her vision is for women to enjoy their rights without restriction, injustice or fear. Through her commitment to human rights, however, she has also been repeatedly exposed to danger and has been arrested several times. From 1996 to 2003 she was also forbidden to travel and sometimes she was even partially exiled. The nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, together with letters sent through Amnesty International and UN recognition have made Gégé Katana Bukuru less vulnerable to persecution. But her commitment to people and to women's rights remains a dangerous task. In 2007, Gégé was the first ever woman to win the Front Line Defenders’ Award. In 2017, there were two more awards, the Per Anger Prize, which the Swedish Government has awarded every year since 2004 for services to human rights and democracy and the European Soroptimists International Peace Prize which, since 2005, has honoured visionary women for their outstanding achievements in promoting or maintaining peace in their communities and beyond.
Our huge congratulations to PeaceWoman Gégé Katana Bukuru for the recognition of her work. We look forward to working with her again.
(Photo: African Feminist Forum)