Here’s a pro-woman solution if ever there was one,
For years, diplomats, aid workers, academics and government officials here have been vexed almost to the point of paralysis about how to attack this country’s staggering problem of sexual violence, in which hundreds of thousands of women have been raped, many quite sadistically, by the various armed groups who haunt the hills of eastern Congo.
Sending in more troops has compounded the problem. United Nations peacekeepers have failed to stop it. Would reforming the Congolese military work? Building up the Congolese state? Pushing harder to regulate so-called conflict minerals to starve the rebels of an income?
For Ms. Ensler, the feminist playwright who wrote “The Vagina Monologues” and who has worked closely with Congolese women, the answer was simple.
“You build an army of women,” she said. “And when you have enough women in power, they take over the government and they make different decisions. You’ll see. They’ll say ‘Uh-uh, we’re not taking this any longer,’ and they’ll put an end to this rape problem fast.”
Over the weekend, Ms. Ensler took the first step toward building this army: the opening of a base here in Bukavu called City of Joy.