Coventry honours campaigner for her work with victims of sexual violence


Thursday 13 November 2014

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A leading advocate of women’s rights in Central Africa is being honoured for the work she undertakes supporting victims of sexual violence. 

Thérèse Mema Mapenzi from the CAFOD-funded Justice and Peace Commission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is being awarded the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation at a special ceremony at Coventry Cathedral on Friday 14 November.

The Coventry International Prize of Peace and Reconciliation honours initiatives, organisations, individuals or projects that have made an exemplary contribution to working for peace.The Prize is aimed at world-wide grassroots projects and people. It is open to all, irrespective of background and candidates are judged on the impact of their work in making demonstrable, practical improvements to the wellbeing of communities in or emerging from conflict.

Professor Mike Hardy from Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, was a member of this year’s judging panel. 

He said:

It is a privilege to announce Thérèse Mema Mapenzi as the recipient of the Coventry International Prize of Peace and Reconciliation.  Thérèse’s work provides a safe place and a voice for those whose lives have been affected by sexual violence.  Rape is now a weapon of warfare which has a devastating impact on the lives of women and girls and the communities within which they live.

The Coventry International Prize of Peace and Reconciliation will be presented to Thérèse Mema Mapenzi on Friday14 November in Coventry Cathedral at 6.30pm as the city pauses to remember the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz in 1940.  All are welcome to attend. 

For further press information, please contact Mark Farnan, communications assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or email