Singer Céline Banza appointed UNICEF National Ambassador
KINSHASA, 31 JULY 2021 - Young singer Céline Banza has been appointed as UNICEF National Ambassador for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on the occasion of African Women's Day.
Winner of the 2019 RFI Discovery Award, Céline Banza joins hundreds of artists, athletes and celebrities around the world who use their talents and fame to advocate for children and support UNICEF's mission to ensure every child's right to health, education, equality and protection.
"UNICEF is proud to be able to count on the support of young artists like Céline Banza to transform and improve the situation of children in the country," said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in DRC.
Céline Banza has been supporting UNICEF's work for several months and participated in the campaign "Girls' Well-Being and Empowerment: My Voice is Our Voice" during which she held discussion forums with adolescent girls and women across the country. Through her music and her commitment to UNICEF, Céline Banza wants to put the issues of child marriage, girls' secondary education, adolescent health, menstrual hygiene and health, and gender-based violence, especially in humanitarian crises, at the centre of the national debate.
"We need words to flow freely, we need global awareness for women and for men, and especially for the future generations," said Céline Banza.
African Women's Day is an opportunity to remember that gender-based violence is widespread and deeply rooted in social and cultural norms in the DRC:
- In the country, 40% of women living in rural areas are married before the age of 18, and 11% before the age of 15;
- Child marriage is the most common form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls;
- The DRC has one of the highest number of early pregnancies in the world;
- Gender inequalities are also present in education, with only 33% of girls attending secondary school;
- Nearly 30% of women and girls aged 15-19 have been sexually abused and nearly half of the female population has experienced one or more forms of domestic violence.
While the DRC is facing one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world, children, women and girls are the first victims. This violence has significant physical and psychological health consequences, but also devastating social consequences.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
To find out more about UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of Congo visit https://www.unicef.org/drcongo/en