DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO CURRENT SITUATION ‣ HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a French speaking country in ...
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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO CURRENT SITUATION ‣ HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a French speaking country in Central Africa. It is estimated that its geographical coverage is 2.345 square KM. The DRC is the 3rd largest country in Africa. The DRC is spread out across the Equator and is bordered by several countries.64 DRC population is estimated in 2011 at 71.7 million people65. In 1985 the enumerated population was 34.7 million and it had been estimated in 2004 at 52.5million people. This indicates an annual population growth of not less than 3.26%. 35%of the population is located in the urban areas and the annual rate of urbanization is estimated at 4.5%, most of the people are concentrated in areas with the best communications; near Kinshasa in the far west, along the Congo River and other main rivers, and in the southern and eastern border regions. The capital city Kinshasa has approximately 9 million people. The DRC has low literacy levels around 55% for women and 76% for men, and a short life expectancy estimated in 2008 at 51.3 years. Health in infrastructure in Congo was destroyed during the armed conflict. In some areas it has deteriorated and or neglected. Denominational health facilities hold 40% of total basic health facilities in the DRC. For a long time reproductive health of the Congolese population remained unaddressed. Basic services were unavailable or inaccessible to majority of the population with the situation being dire in the eastern part of the country66 . In 2008 DRC spent 5.9 per cent of its total expenditure on health, higher than 2006 (4.3% of the GDP) though much lower than the African median value – 9.1 per cent and which is about a third of the Abuja commitment of 15 per cent. Health expenditure in DRC has declined between 2004 and 2008. According to available data, the Government of DRC has made no contribution to the National Expanded Program for Immunization Vaccine. Studies, investigations and government reports to the human rights monitoring bodies as the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2006 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 2007 indicate that women are missing in key government ministries and departments. As compared to men, women occupy very low positions. ‣ SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS INDICATORS

FERTILITY RATE The fertility levels of women in the DRC remains very high, women have an average of 6.3 children by the end of their childbearing years. Despite high rates of unsafe abortions, family planning is not available throughout the facilities in the country and access to good quality These are to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and United Republic of Tanzania, to the north by the Central Republic and Sudan, in the South by Zambia and Angola, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and the Republic of Congo or Congo Brazzaville. 64

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www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2823.htm; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cg.html

Report of Assessment of Reproductive Health in Democratic Republic of Congo by JSI research and Training Institute in July 2002. 66

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safe motherhood services is a challenge. Antenatal care and delivery in a health facility is still expensive for many women.

MATERNAL MORTALITY According to the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey, Maternal mortality in the DRC is estimated to be 549 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births for the four year period before the survey. For all female deaths of women aged 15-49 years, almost one in five deaths (19%) is due to maternal causes67. The main causes of maternal deaths are among others bleeding before, during and after delivery (about 47%), postpartum infections, induced abortions and eclampsia and home deliveries with the help of traditional birth attendants and weak referral systems, especially in the obstetric and neonatal emergencies68.

CONTRACEPTIVE PREVALENCE RATE 6% use modern methods, being the most used the male condom by 3%.

EARLY MOTHERHOOD 24,3% of women aged15-19 have already been pregnant.

EARLY MARRIAGE We do not have data on the issue.

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE The DRC has been embroiled in internal conflict for the last two decades since 1996. It is estimated that 5.4 million deaths have occurred as a consequence of the violence, displacement, malnutrition and disease. The conflict has had a great impact on men and women but women and girls have suffered the brunt of the war .As a result of the conflict women and girls have been subjected to systematic sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) among other bodily injuries. Media reports indicate that women are forced to undergo female genital cutting. SGBV has been used as a weapon of war basically to humiliate and intimidate the enemy. 71% of married women age 15-49 experience violence committed by their husbands. 75.6% agree that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife.

UNSAFE ABORTION The unsafe abortion rate according to WHO estimation in 2008 is in the DR Congo of 36 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years old. Abortion is illegal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), except when the life of the mother is in danger.

SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION Same sex relationships are legal, although the parliament is in the process of debating the possibility of criminalising them. Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Health, Macro International, 2007, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Demographic Health Survey. 67

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HIV/AIDS The prevalence is 1,3% in total, 1,6% in the case of women and 0,9% in the case of men.

INSTRUMENTS, MECHANISMS, LAW AND POLICIES ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS ‣ INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

The DRC has ratified CEDAW but not the optional protocol, the African charter on human and people´s rights, the Maputo Protocol and solemn declaration on gender equality in Africa. ‣ NATIONAL LAW

The DRC constitution does not protect the right to SRHR. Discriminatory laws still in existence include the Family Code, articles 352, 355, 444 to 450 that exhibits gender discrimination with recognition at family level given to the man and impose marital subjugation. The other discriminatory laws are the Labor Code and the Penal code. In 2009, Child protection law No. 09/001 was passes with provisions protecting children from all forms of exploitation including sexual violence. In July 2006, the DRC adopted two laws on sexual violence (No. 06/018 and No.06/019 but this has not helped improve the situation of women. Notably, there is no legislation on violence against women. The transitional constitution has not served women well since sexual violence is still experienced and it is committed with impunity. This is exacerbated by the existing harmful cultural practices like FGM and early /child /forced marriages and limited access to education, employment and health care services. Homosexuality is legal in the DRC. However, in 2010, the Sexual Practices against the Nature Bill to criminalize homosexuality and zoophiles as sexual practices against nature was presented to the DRC parliament for discussion. This year a governmental debate regarding the possibility of changing the penal code to make it illegal is taking place. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) groups are minority groups in the DRC whose rights are not guaranteed.!! The government continued to lack sufficient financial, technical, and human resources to effectively address trafficking crimes and provide basic levels of security and social services in most parts of the country. Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of trafficking; however, the July 2006 sexual violence statute, Law 6/018, specifically prohibits and prescribes penalties of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking, child and forced prostitution, and pimping. The Child Protection Code, Law 09/001, enacted in January 2009, criminalizes and prescribes penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment for child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation 69. It also specifically prohibits the recruitment and use of children by the armed forces, armed groups, and the police.

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Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009.

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‣ POLICIES AND STRATEGIES ON GENDER EQUALITY AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

The DR Congo government has launched the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality (CARMMA).

MAP OF MAIN AGENTS ‣ EXAMPLES CIVIL SOCIETY AGENTS

There is no feminist NGO that work directly on programs on SRHR since there is fear of deregistration from the government. However a few organizations integrate SRHR in their programs. For example Si Jeunesse Savait (SJS) is the first organization to advocate the rights of sexual minorities. Reseau Action Femme (RAF) is one organization that advocates for ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol on Women.

DR CONGO HDI

168

Fertility Rate

6.3 children per woman.

Maternal Mortality

549 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births.

Prevalence of contraception 6% use modern methods, being the most used the male condom by 3%. Prevalence of contraception 24,3% of women aged15-19 have already been pregnant. Early marriage

We do not have data on the issue.

Gender-based Violence

71% of married women aged 15-49 experience violence committed by their husband. 75,6% agree that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife. We have no data on the number of women circumcised.

Unsafe abortion

36 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years old. Abortion is illegal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), except when the life of the mother is in danger.

Sexual Discrimination

Same sex relationships are legal in the process of debating the possibility of criminalising them.

HIV/AIDS

The prevalence is 1,3% in total, 1,6% in the case of women and 0,9% in the case of men.

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INSTRUMENTS, MECHANISMS, LEGISLATION AND POLICIES International Treaties

National Legislation

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women African Charter on Human and People’s Rights

The DRC constitution does not protect the SRHR. Discriminatory laws still in existence include the Family Code, the Labour Code and the Penal code. Child protection law with provisions protecting children from all forms of exploitation including sexual violence. 2 laws on sexual violence There is no legislation on violence against women. Homosexuality is legal in DRC, in process in 2011 a governmental debate regarding the possibility of changing the penal code to make it illegal.

Policies and Plans National Strategic Plan to fight STDs and HIV/AIDS (2007-2010). Document of policies and standards on reproductive health services. Strategy for the promotion of gender equality

Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of trafficking; however, the July 2006 sexual violence statute, Law specifically prohibits sex trafficking, child and forced prostitution, and pimping. The Child Protection Code, criminalizes for child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

MAP OF MAIN AGENTS Civil Society

There is no feminist NGO that directly programs on SRHR since there is fear of deregistration from the government. A few organizations integrate SRHR in their programs: - Si Jeunesse Savait (SJS) is the first organization to advocate the rights of sexual minorities. - Reseau Action Femme (RAF) is one organization that advocate for ratification ad implementation of the Maputo Protocol on women. - Heal Africa - Fundacion Panzi - Synergie des Femmes

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