(New York, 05 February 2016) United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, is saddened to hear of the passing away on 2 February of Rebecca Masika Katsuva, a rape survivor and women’s rights activist who had dedicated her life to helping others in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Masika opened her home to victims of sexual violence and children born of rape. She countered the violence of rape with love and support for victims. Through her work with communities, she helped many women and girls to return to their husbands and families despite the stigma of rape. She is a heroine whose work will continue to inspire us,” said Under-Secretary-General Bangura.
“It is people like Masika who have shown me, and the world, that no matter how much brutality exists it will never triumph over the human spirit and the desire to live in dignity and peace. I stand in solidarity with the many people whose lives were touched by Masika’s strength. She gave us all hope. We must continue to build on her legacy and work to eliminate war-time rape and support the survivors and their families.”
On 20 November 2014, the Office of Special Representative Bangura screened Seeds of Hope, a documentary by Fiona Lloyd-Davies on Ms. Katsuva’s life and her work combatting sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Special Representative Bangura and Innocent Zahinda, a Congolese team leader of the Team of Experts on Sexual Violence in Conflict, part of the Office, participated in the screening. In her opening address, the Special Representative praised Ms. Katsuva for having “dedicated herself to helping other survivors of sexual violence rebuild their lives through economic empowerment, solidarity and sisterhood.”
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Paulina Kubiak, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Communications Officer in New York, +1 9173673819 or email@example.com.