Congrats Chouchou! 2009 Knight International Journalism Award Winner
New update on Chouchou and AFEM! She has been a busy lady as of late. Three months after receiving the Fern Holland - Vital Voices award in Washington D.C. and testifying before the U.S. Senate last month, Chouchou has won the Knight International Journalism Award too!
Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu, in her radio reports, brought to global attention how women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are raped and brutalized as a tactic of war. She has also organized a network of women journalists to cover key issues.
Chouchou Namegabe Nabintu uses community radio to report on the sexual violence against women in the lawless eastern section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At great personal risk, the self-taught radio journalist traveled through refugee camps in remote regions to collect wrenching personal accounts from women traumatized by violence. In 12 years of conflict, more than six million people have died and hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped and tortured.
“As a journalist who challenges long-held cultural beliefs and exposes the brutality of a regional war that is being fought on the bodies of women, Chouchou puts her life on the line each and every day,” said playwright Eve Ensler, one of those who nominated Namegabe for the award. Namegabe continues to face threats, especially after her powerful testimony in 2007 urging the International Court of Justice to classify rape as a political weapon in the Congo.
Namegabe also founded the South Kivu Association of Women Journalists (AFEM) and began equipping other women with microphones and radios to report more stories, including investigations of corruption and government mismanagement. In a culture in which women are shamed into silence, she has helped women find their voices and given them a support network to grow professionally as journalists.
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