My name is Nathalie Ndimubanzi and I’m an activist and women’s rights defender from the DRC. In March 2021, I was selected as one of the two first 1325-scholarship holders to support the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
Internship with Kvinna till Kvinna
The scholarship includes and internship with Kvinna till Kvinna in Bukavu, DRC. Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation is a Swedish organisation that promotes women’s rights and in conflict and post-conflict areas through local partnerships. It is a foundation whose mission and goals I adhere to.
The internship at Kvinna till Kvinna has offered me an opportunity to develop my professional, intellectual, social, and personal skills. It is a rich workplace where I meet committed feminists who contribute to the advancement of the agenda of women’s rights and gender equality in DRC and across the world in their day to day work.
I also get to participate in internal capacity building meetings, which allow me to gain a better understanding of Kvinna till Kvinna and the WPS agenda.
During the internship at Kvinna till Kvinna I get to work as a program officer. I have for instance learnt about the monitoring and evaluation tools, which allow Kvinna till Kvinna to measure the impact of its support and capacity building for its local partners.
By now, I’m for instance able to do a partnership assessment from the first contact until the first disbursement of funds, using all the necessary tools and completing the important documents for a complete file of partnership.
I am proud and happy to be part of the Kvinna till Kvinna team. I am especially happy to be part of the program where I can interact directly with women activists and women’s rights defenders, sharing the obstacles they face in their work and discuss with them different solutions according to the support that Kvinna till Kvinna can give them.
I also participate in the organization of external activities. Currently we are planning an intergenerational exchange between women who will share their experiences to benefit from the diversity of these two generations.
It will also be an opportunity to identify problems and discuss solutions to intergenerational challenges. I am excited to see women of different generations standing up for their ideals and look forward to the beauty and richness of intergenerational inclusiveness.
Collecting women’s stories
I also assist to make the voice of women heard by supporting communication from Kvinna till Kvinna where I work. My contribution is to collect the stories of women who are supported by Kvinna till Kvinna and that we post on social networks with their consent.
This is a way to raise their voices to the whole world and inspire others in a similar situation to rise up and overcome the obstacles they face. I feel privileged to be part of the moment when these women finally understand their rights and decide to fight for their implementation!
For example, I met an intergenerational women’s movement, called Rien Sans Les Femmes. They are partner of Kvinna till Kvinna, who gathers more than 300 feminist organizations and many activists who fight for the participation of women in decision making bodies at all levels of society.
I am delighted to follow the activities of this movement closely since I admire their vision and objectives. They increase the rate of participation and representation of women and girls in the decision-making bodies in the DRC at all levels, and they support female politicians to exercise their mandate and show that if you are motivated it is possible to access decision making bodies at all levels.
I also met the NGO Service Par, Pour, Avec les Femmes, a feminist partner organization to Kvinna till Kvinna that trains women and girls in manual trades, which in the past were reserved for men only. As an outcome of this training, there will be women mechanics and drivers in our community. It is wonderful that women decide to come together to banish gender stereotypes.
The important work that Kvinna till Kvinna does in my country DRC inspires me a lot. Two years ago, I made a commitment to fight for women’s rights. My time with Kvinna till Kvinna has made this fight my credo. I’m grateful for this scholarship that gives me this chance to experience the reality of women in my country from a much clearer perspective.
Fighting inequalities with knowledge
My scholarship is scheduled for a year, but I do not intend to stop there. The knowledge that I acquire from Kvinna till Kvinna is a strong tool, and I intend to use it for the rest of my life to fight all these inequalities around me and any other form of abuse of women’s rights.
Now that I understand the real needs of women caused by the absence of respect for their rights, I have become much more aware of the need for resolution 1325 and its implementation.
I hope that other young girls and all the women of the world will take note of this resolution and make it their own, as I have done, so that we can change things together and improve the living conditions of women worldwide, leaving no one behind.
To all the women who read me, let us not give up or neglect our actions, no matter how small they may seem. Our rights are not a favor given to us. We deserve them as Human beings, as Women. And we will get them no matter how long it takes, for us and for future generations.
Feminist Today, Feminist Always!