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Kinshasa, March, 20th, 2017 (IBTimes UK). The observatory of gender parity has launched a new web magazine to promote and defend women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country where women and girls suffer disproportionately from high rates of violence and extreme poverty during times of conflict.
The observatory of gender parity in the DRC on International Women’s Day (8 March) launched a new web magazine, Debout Congolaises! which translates as ’Stand Up Congolese women!’. IBTimes UK spoke to the director of the Observatoire de la Parité, Esperance Mawanzo, who curates and edits the online magazine.
"We looked at the way information is shared today by young people, girls and boys, on their smartphones. It was the reason that pushed us to publish this feminist web magazine. We wondered how we could touch this generation, especially in a country like the DRC."
The director of the watchdog – which works in partnership with representatives of the ministries concerned, independent experts, NGOs promoting women’s rights and UN agencies – said the idea of a magazine aimed at promoting women’s rights stemmed from the continued focus on the looming political crisis.
"Considering the recent political developments in DRC – everyone is talking about the 31 December agreement, we speak about the elections – we decided to write about these themes from our point of view," Mawanzo, who is known as ’Mama Parity’, said.
"One of the reasons that pushed us to launch the magazine is to show that political issues are not the only ones affecting the Congolese woman today – she is also deeply affected by health and education issues," Mawanzo said, highlighting how the magazine covers anything from cultural news to sexual education, and profiles personalities such as female electoral candidates and journalists.
"We tried to combine all these issues that fall in the promotion of equality between genders." One of the big themes covered by Debout Congolaises is sexuality, which remains a taboo discussion. "Young women don’t speak about sex, or menstruation, with the families. Women are not at the same level as men today."