The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has adopted two National Action Plans (NAP) to date, in 2010 and 2018. While the first NAP did not have a specific time frame or period of implementation, the second NAP is to be implemented for the period of 2019-2022.
The DRC’s second NAP provides a detailed overview that evaluates the implementation of the first NAP, addressing positive developments and ongoing challenges. The NAP is in tandem with the country’s National Gender Policy with its focus on advancing women’s and girls’ human rights during and after conflict and working against impunity for crimes perpetrated against women and girls. A post-conflict recovery framework also marks the NAP, as the document states that the general objective of the country’s second action plan is “to promote a secure environment that guarantees the fair inclusion of women, men and young people in consolidating peace in the DRC” (p. 10).
The DRC went through a civil war that lasted from 1997 and 2003, resulting in five million casualties. Women were disproportionately impacted by wartime atrocities, with mass rape used as a weapon of war. The DRC has since suffered sporadic acts of violence that continues to mark everyday life in the country. Armed groups are still active in the country’s eastern provinces, and the political situation in the DRC remains volatile due to the uncontrolled flow of small arms and light weapons into the country.
In 2018, the DRC spent $295 million on military expenses, which is a 10% decrease from their military budget in 2017. The DRC neither signed nor ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates the flow of weapons across international borders.