October 9th 2023
SEMA member’s Tatiana Mukanire from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) delivered a powerful and inspiring speech during the president’s session at the #FIGO2023 Congress, where she shared the stage with Dr. Denis Mukwege, Katrien Coppens, Executive Director of the Mukwege Foundation, Dr. Jeanne Conry, FIGO President and other high-level speakers. Together, they highlighted the significance of the Red Line Initiative campaign and underscored the pivotal role that SEMA plays in advocating for change.
In her address, Tatiana emphasized the urgent need for holistic care for survivors, stressing the importance of the four pillars: medical care, psychological support, social and economic reintegration, and legal assistance. Tatiana recognised the indispensable role of gynaecologists and obstetricians in providing comprehensive support to survivors, acknowledging that healing goes beyond physical treatment.
Tatiana also underlined SEMA’s key objective of advocating for the end of sexual violence as a “weapon of war”, resonating with the goal of the Red Line Initiative global campaign. As Tatiana put it so well: “Our fight is to make sure this never happens to anyone else again […] The experience we have had, we would not want our children, anyone in our family, or anyone else to experience the same thing.”
In Tatiana’s own poignant words, she reminded us that issues related to sex, rape, or sexual violence are not just about sex; they are about the immense destruction these crimes inflict on individuals. She called upon everyone to join the fight against sexual violence, emphasizing the power of collective action in rebuilding lives and working toward a future where no one else must endure the pain and suffering she, and countless others, have experienced.