Education for women and girls of all duty. "Passy my daughter, when did you get married? You grew, it is true that you studied but a girl without a husband has no value in our community, to be respected you have to get married "keep saying every day my mom, she is convinced that to be respected in our society it is necessary to be married. Two of my sisters are married and have three children each of them. For my mom it’ is inconceivable that I'm not getting married, she made every day, I always said that I want to start working before to get married, marriage is not a priority for me unfortunately she does not agree. Like my mom, most of the people of North Kivu in eastern prefer marriage instead of education. already at the young ages, parents discriminate against girls and promote the education of boys. For many parents: "Man must be educated because he has to work to support his wife, but a woman can not study, her husband was called to take charge and take care of her needs "which reinforces women's dependence before their husbands, This promotes the violation of women's rights, Most families are poor, girls are less favored than men in their education, it creates a total imbalance for Congolese girls who already see their futures disoriented. Time that girls should go to school is offset by their precipitation early marriages. Despite the many difficulties and prejudices made against women, those who give to education over marriage are considered to have lost the reason for rejecting the Congolese culture a woman who claims to be of value must marry . Already 25 years old , if girls are still at home, she is considerate like KESHENI or SHANGAZI its mean in the local Swahili language in Congo that the girl are still home she is old. Already in the community, women to be happy, must necessarily be married. Their role is limited only to care for their husbands and children while remaining totally dependent on it. In my community, I have seen many girls lack of opportunity to study were forced to marry The situation in North Kivu in eastern DRC has increased poverty in which families live in Congo, it also pushes many girls drop out of school because their parents were not able to pay school fees for education of their children. The consequences are many, many girls engaged in prostitution unintentionally and girls are exposed to unwanted fat. Once pregnant, the girls can not study during their life because schools do not admit girls who have given birth. For these girls it is a beginning of an ordeal, they are rejected by their families, and even the community. These girls are several criticisms and prejudices in my community. My vision is that one day the girls in my community especially in villages understand that education is the basis of the independence of women, they must necessarily study to remain independent in their company The solution is to educate parents on this issue there. I intend to open a trades training center for teenage mothers who have lost the chances of access to education in the Congolese community. In facilitating their education learning these trades they will be able to take care of themselves and this remained they independent in our community.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Girls Transform the World 2013.


Passy, your personal experience is enlightening. You have demonstrated that no amount of pressure from your parents and people around you can yield you to getting married when you are not decided yet. And yet many girls cannot oppose this pressure. So culture is a very strong force that needs to slowly be changed. Probably you can play a big role in your community in changing this attitudes (as role model).

The total dependence of women on men/husbands is something you intend to contribute in addressing through provision of economic skills. This is good because women need to have a stable economic base to appreciate that a man/husband is not all there is.

You are a role model, your community needs you to rise up to changing these destructive culture one day at a time.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

Dear Passy,

I admire the fact that you have been able to choose education and work for yourself before getting married or getting married too young. What a wonderful role model you will be for other women who want to establish their independence. Also, providing a trade school education for women who are already wives and mothers creates a great opportunity for them as well, and also helps to promote a new cultural norm. Change might be slow sometimes, but making it happen is so important to so many women and girls. Congratulations on your ambition and vision!

Leslie Stoupas

Yes, Passy, you are a role model. However, I think we need to think about what kind of education that suits the life of married women/young mothers? So that, marriage would not become their block to pursue their dream in (formal) education.



You're vision for an education center for teenage mothers is inspiring. I love that you have presented a solution for a problem that touches every family. It makes me sad that the education system ignores girls that have either slipped through the cracks or fell victim to outside sources that are now forcing them into unwanted situations. How do you plan on financing your school for teen mothers? and is there an age limit for those that would like to attend your school?


My dear Passy: I am so supportive of your dreams in helping young girls have a right to make choices whether or not they marry and how they might finish their education so that they do not need to be dependent upon a man or their community, but rather be able to show the world around them that they are capable human beings who have a right to conduct their lives in a way that is powerful, capable, and leader-like. I want to be there to help you make your dreams come true.

Your mentor, Elaine

Elaine R. Millam

I think it is difficult, i know it is not easy in my contry to have that dream, because women dont know there right, and african culture is a big problem, same thing must be done to stop that, we will talk alot on skype

Passy Mubalama Executive director at Action and development initiatives for the protection of women and children affected by conflict in Eatern Congo

Tel: +243 81 14 41 591