Over 60% of prisoners in Congo-Kinshasa have not been convicted of a crime for months or years. The main challenges include the lack of data on crimes, the distance between jurisdictions and the locations of the crimes and the lack of lawyers who take pro bono cases. This fund will support gender-based Violence data collection and training of 50 women lawyers on women and girls legal representation. The Fund will provide free legal assistance to 500 vulnerable and detained women and girls.
In 2020, over 68 % of Kinshasa imprisoned women and girls reported that they have been behind the bars for months or years. The situation is worse in other provinces with limited jurisdictions. 93% come from poor families and about 4% only could afford for a layer. The majority of them are illiterate divorced or drug abuse women and street young girls. Due to their very low education level, they hardly understand the reasons why they are imprisoned and are easily open to guilty and corruption.
This project is safeguarding that no woman goes through trial without representation, that the distance between jurisdictions and the locations of the crimes is reduced and that women lawyers take pro bono cases for vulnerable women and girls. We offer free legal representation to detained women while providing them with paralegal assistance and advices. We collect data on gender-based violence, train women lawyers on women representation and raise public awareness on legal rights.
By increasing prison monitoring and accountability of justice system while equipping women lawyers and detained girls with skills and information about legal rights, women and girls have better access to justice. Data collection on gender-based violence, Legal representation and paralegal assistance strengthen accountability, women protection and access to legal rights in Congo.