On 11 June 2014, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice hosted the panel, ‘From LRA abductees to gender justice advocates’, at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London from 10-13 June 2014. The panel featured two young women who were formerly abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who shared their stories of capture and escape from the militia group, their ongoing recovery and their emerging advocacy for other victims/survivors.

This video begins with a statement from Claudine Bela Badeaza, Focal Point for the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice in Province Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Claudine addresses the impact of the LRA in her province and the need for accountability for crimes committed by the LRA in Uganda and surrounding countries, including the DRC. She also advocated for reparations to be provided for victims of the LRA.

The video primarily features Esther Atim, former LRA abductee now gender justice advocate with Greater North Women’s Voices for Peace Network (GNWVPN), a partner organization of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. Esther describes her experiences during the years she was captured by the LRA, the challenges she now faces in rebuilding her life within her community and her advocacy for former abductees and child soldiers.

The panel was moderated by Brigid Inder, Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, with three speakers, Esther Atim, Sunday Lanyero, a former LRA abductee and member of the GNWVPN, and Jane Akwero, Programme Officer Uganda, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice.

In this video, Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, co-chairs of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, listened to the panel and were moved by the testimony they heard.

Learn more about the summit here