It's not often that a dictator takes out an advertisement in The New York Times. But there it was on Sunday, full-page spread touting President Joseph Kabila's supposed record of championing democracy and reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is Pledge for Parity. It is a call for all to respond; to be "leaders within our spheres of influence", and to "take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity."
Congo has suffered from its singular framing as "the rape capital of the world."The attention devoted to this problem has inadvertently led to the neglect of other challenges in DRC. It has also led to a fundamental misunderstanding of the causes, consequences and solutions to sexual violence.
Twenty-four years ago, I managed to flee to the United Kingdom from the Democratic Republic of Congo and was lucky enough to be granted political asylum. My journey was difficult, and made worse by not being able to contact my friends and family back home to know if they were safe.
At emerge poverty free, we have seen the effects of this empowerment on the ground in East Africa, where we run a variety of projects to educate and train women, working closely with local partners like the BCHC in eastern DRC.
When BBC investigates and reports on an occurrence or a subject, it commands respect and serious consideration. The story is about Rwanda. Specifically what happened or what "really" happened in 1994 in what the world has come to know as the "Rwandan Genocide" of 1994.
Radio Okapi reported this week that Congolese authorities have implicated a U.S. citizen identified as M. Samuel Jessy in an attempt to illegally smuggle seven children across the DRC's southern border into Zambia in an attempt to expedite their delivery to families in the United States.
All I could think about was thank god I was not in Congo when this happened for, as amazing as our medical partners are there, there is much still that is needed to bring medicine up to western standards.