January 11, 2020
SEMA 2020 highlights
2020 was a difficult year for everyone and, in particular, for many survivors of conflict-related sexual violence around the world. However, despite the global pandemic, SEMA members continued their advocacy work to end wartime sexual violence.
Here are some highlights from 2020:
To mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2020, SEMA and the Mukwege Foundation showcased survivors’ activism in 14 countries around the world. Together, we shared the activities of national and local survivors networks on social media, highlighting the activism of survivors who are fighting to end violence against women in their countries.
Tatiana Mukanire participated in the annual discussion on women’s human rights at the Human Rights Council. “It has always been said: ‘To educate one woman is to educate an entire nation’ but do we understand that to destroy one woman is to destroy an entire community, an entire nation?”
SEMA members had a crucial role in the high-level interactive online event co-organised by the Mukwege Foundation. In this discussion, panelists took stock of the successes and challenges faced by survivors who are leading advances on the front lines of transitional justice in their countries.
At the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Grace asked humanitarian bodies and governments to “support and include survivors in the design of the programmes that are meant for us because there’s ‘Nothing about us, without us‘”.
SEMA participated in the UK’s parliamentary discussion on the importance of survivor-centred approaches. Esperande discussed the needs of survivors and urged governments to invest in capacity-building for survivors to be part of discussions as key stakeholders.
We were extremely proud of our 2 members – Angela and Mama Lambert – for being among the 10 finalists of the Women Building Peace Award, recognising the vital role of women peacebuilders in conflict-related areas.
SEMA member Esperande Bigirimana participated in the launch of the Declaration of Humanity and reflected on the important role of faith and belief leaders. “Faith leaders are gate keepers in communities and their support will change our world for the better”.