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Armed conflict has devastated large swathes of the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1997. Civilians in many parts of the eastern provinces still face constant threats of forced displacement, sexual violence, abduction, and extortion, not only from militia groups but in many cases from those who are mandated to protect them. Oxfam’s protection programme in the DRC aims to strengthen the ability of communities to advocate for their rights, including the right to protection from violence and exploitation. Evaluation of the programme’s impact shows that in a situation where so many people’s rights are abused and violated, empowering women often means including and empowering men in the humanitarian response too.

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