Today was the opening of the Photography Exhibition Les Femmes, Congo, Women and their Fight for Justice. Eastern Congo has witnessed one of the worst armed conflicts and violation of human rights that has gone on for more than 20 years, a land where sexual abuse of girls and women is rampant and where women have no voice. But now there is a group that is growing, fighting for peace, justice and equal rights. The organisation Kvinna till Kvinna or Woman to Woman works with 130 women’s organisations in five regions afflicted by conflict: Central and Western Africa, the Middle East, the South Caucasus and the Western Balkans. Helping women gain a voice in their society, addressing sexual abuse, raising their self esteem, offering support and empowering already existing women’s organisations in those areas working towards peace, justice and equality and helping women participate in the development of their society. The work they do is important. Women are wanting a change and are standing up against being seen as nothing more than an item to be possessed, and they need help to do this. Working towards change is not easy, many have death threats against them, these are brave agents of change, and we all stand behind them.
The photos in this exhibition were taken by Cato Lein when he visited Uvira in November 2014. They are portraits of the girls and women who work with the organisations that Kvinna till Kvinna collaborate with. These strong women represent the hope of the change to come. The exhibition is at Gallerian in Stockholm and ends on the 26th of May.