Ibanda Toll 1

Marie-Joséphine with
Mary Jo Toll at the UN

In March Sister Marie-Joséphine Ibanda attended the UN Commission on the Status of Women which focused this year on preventing violence against women and girls. Coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marie-Joséphine knows first-hand the devastating effects of violence against women in her country, especially in conflict situations. She shares her understanding about the causes of violence:

  • Violence against women and girls finds its origin in a socialization or social integration that favors man’s superiority and domination over the woman.
  • Violence is present everywhere in the world; it spares no culture, no race, no country, no social level.
  • Women pay the highest price in national and/or international conflicts, most of all armed conflicts.
  • Women have not yet participated fully in establishing peace in war zones.
  • An absence of political will to implement resolutions to improve the woman’s condition and to sustain new initiatives continually and regularly.
  • Violence against women and girls remains unpunished; that is what perpetuates it.

UNballMarie-Joséphine also noted that “at the entrance of the United Nations in New York, there is a large ball symbolizing an ancient world blowing up, in order for a new world to be born. But if you look carefully, the new world being born is also torn. This is to say, ‘our’ world is continually being fragmented by all kinds of evils, which the United Nations, through different commissions, councils and organizations, tries to find solutions as well as it can.”


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