Work of prominent human rights defender who helped tens of thousands of victims of sexual violence in Congo to be explored

Posted by ap507 at Apr 27, 2016 12:51 PM |
Free public screening of the ‘The Man Who Mends Women’ documentary at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 4 May

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 27 April 2016

A documentary about the work of the inspirational Dr Denis Mukwege, who provided medical care to tens of thousands of women raped during the 20 years of conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo will be shown at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 4 May.

The screening of The Man Who Mends Women, which is free to attend and open to the public, will be followed by a meeting with Belgian journalist Colette Braeckman, who wrote ‘Sexual violence in Congo: the battle of Mukwege’ and realised the film in collaboration with Thierry Michel.

The Man Who Mends Women focuses on the story of Dr Denis Mukwege and his work at the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Doctor Mukwege is internationally known as the man who provides medical care to ten thousands of women who have been raped during the 20 years of conflicts in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo and who works to restore their lives and to address the root causes of violence in DRC.

Dr Fransiska Louwagie from the University of Leicester’s School of Modern Languages and Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies said: “We are very pleased to welcome Colette Braeckman for this screening of her recent and multiple award-winning documentary, which will shed important light on issues of sexual violence in the ongoing context of war and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a surgeon, Dr Mukwege has become a prominent human and women’s rights defender and this event will offer the audience a unique opportunity to gain insight into his work and its broader context.”

Simon Lambert, WBI-Fellow in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leicester said: “Colette Braeckman is a leading Belgian journalist and a world-expert on Central Africa. Her visit to Leicester is supported by Wallonia-Brussels International, an agency which is tasked with the French-speaking Community of Belgium’s international relations and the promotion and dissemination of its culture and arts.”

Dr Sarah Ehlers from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Medical Humanities added: “It is important to host this event as it links together a topic of broad public relevance with various strands of our research. The routine use of sexual violence by militia groups in the DRC against women is a multi-faceted issue, which is significant not only for the study of violence but also for those interested in the social and political dimensions of medicine in a war- and poverty-ridden context. Moreover, it sheds light on a tragic chapter from the aftermath of colonial rule and forms therefore also a part of a broader European history.”

The free public screening of The Man Who Mends Women will be aired at 4:00PM on Wednesday 4 May in Attenborough Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of Leicester, followed by a talk with Colette Braeckman at 6:00PM.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Simon Lambert on 

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