Annie Dina Lumona, Baraua

We fight for change, we fight against sexual violence towards women and girls.
  Watch or read Annie's story below:

“We fight”

Annie is young, only 19, but she is already deeply involved in the fight for women’s rights in her community. This young woman from the Fizi territory in South-Kivu is a member of an association in which “we fight for change, we fight against sexual violence towards women and girls. We also fight against poverty, we work around themes, we organise exchange between the members of the community to see how they can change their mentality that is a little negative in regard of the change”. A great work in progress, in which the main idea becomes clear: in a modern society, women must have the same rights as men.

Fighting against fixed mentalities and preconceptions

Annie and her association work on developing mind-sets on different level. One of them is the position of women in the transmission of inheritance, a subject with a strong social and economic impact.
We point out that a girl can also inherit from her parents.
She is confronted in this situation with the country’s traditions, as opposed to the country’s laws. She remembers one specific case: “I remembered brothers who were misinformed: their dad had goats, plots and fields. When their dad died, they shared his goods between the boys and not the girls. They thought that girls didn’t have the right to inherit because they are going to get married and the goods will be lost. They didn’t give the right to the girls to inherit from their dad”. It is in this situation that Annie and her colleagues’ action of raising awareness take on its full meaning.
Thanks to the actions we conduct, the awareness raising actions we lead, the brothers understood that they had put their sisters in danger and they asked for forgiveness. They didn’t know the sisters could inherit their dad’s goods.
Fighting against mentalities means sometimes fighting against prejudices, when simple awareness raising is enough to awake consciences: “people didn’t know but when they understand it they start changing and give right to girls to inherit”. Concrete actions, concrete results Annie’s commitment towards women is already successful, and the ongoing change announces nice perspectives.
I am very happy when I see that the actions I currently conduct offer something important to the population, to the community.
Only 19 years old, the young woman can be proud of her actions, and she admits it with a pleased smile in her voice: “I really enjoy it, I am happy about that”.
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