THE First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, marks International Women’s Day during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first lady spoke about the coronavirus pandemic, inspiring women to become the next leaders and the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC.
I am going through this difficult period like everyone else. I have lost those close to me and loved ones, but I am confident in the future. Thanks to the solidarity, from Africa, we will overcome this pandemic,” said Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi.
“The pandemic, yes, but the pandemic caused by coronavirus affects the whole world and the entire population, but healthcare workers are most at risk from the disease. As a former caregiver, I imagine the sacrifice that caregivers make to cope with this disease. I have a lot of admiration for these women and men who save lives by putting their own in danger.”
She is a champion defender of women’s rights with the foundation that bears her name, which fights against gender-based violence. She also worked as a nurse for many years.
“For me, women working in the health sector, that is to say nurses, caregivers for the most part, are women who have taken and continue to take enormous risks. They are out there to protect others. Their involvement is remarkable. I have not forgotten those who, despite the pandemic, they have shown exemplary courage in running their household.
“What to say about those who because of Covid 19 stimulated innovation, and ingenuity in health and those who have contributed enormously to raising awareness of barrier gestures? It is thanks to everyone’s defense, thanks to our resilience, that we have faced the disease and are going to overcome it.”
The First Lady also spoke about her philanthropic work in Gender-Based Violence.
“In 2019, I agreed to carry out a global advocacy role of the United Nations on the issue of preventing conflict-related sexual violence. I also agreed to carry that of the United Nations Population Fund with regard to the fight against GBV and the promotion of the empowerment of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“With this title of champion and ambassador respectively, I work to accelerate change, spread advocacy and awareness on the issue of sexual violence, while respecting the voice of survivors. I encourage political will and their commitment at the highest level.
“Several actions have been carried out since March 2019. These include awareness-raising meetings that I organize with young people from different provinces of my country to discuss, by example, on positive masculinity.”