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International Conference for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict

Published 28 November 2022

The Countess of Wessex is attending the two-day conference which is bringing together representatives from over 70 countries to help drive action tackle sexual violence in conflict.

On the first day of the conference, The Countess joined a Dr Denis Mukwege ‘in conversation’ as they discussed the work of the Panzi Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In October 2022, The Countess visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which focussed addressing the devastating impact of sexual and gender based violence in conflict, while supporting and empowering survivors and tackling the stigma they face.

Her Royal Highness also joined a panel discussion with Lord Tariq Ahmad, Ajna Jusic, President of Assocation of Forgotten Children of War, Dr Mukwege, Esther Dingemans from the Global Survivors Fund, and the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska.

In the evening, The Countess joined a reception at St James's Palace for the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

On the second day of the Conference, Her Royal Highness attended a number of sessions, including the Opening Plenary which featured a Devi Khadka, a Nepali survivor, who gave the keynote speech.

Other sessions included the 'Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Women Peacebuilders and Women's Right's Organisations as First Responders' and 'The Power of Education to Prevent Conflict-Related Sexual Violence'.

The Countess finished the day at the closing plenary, where Lord Hague gave the keynote speech.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative is a UK Government-led initiative that aims to raise awareness of the extent of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, and encourage and rally global action to end it. Find out more here.

Find out more about The Countess of Wessex's work in PSVI.