The sustainable reintegration of a female ex-combatant

The sustainable reintegration of a female ex-combatant


Julie Kambu Mayemba is 40 years old and lives not far from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with her husband and five children. To meet the food needs of her household, she raises pigs and devotes herself to gardening.

For 15 years Julie was in the military, but in 2010 she left the army to benefit from a support programme for the reintegration of ex-combatants implemented by FAO in collaboration with the Unit for the implementation of the national Programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. Today, she is the vice-president of the Association for Demobilized Breeders of Congo.

Her family’s social situation has greatly improved thanks to the support they received. “Not only do I completely provide for my family in terms of food, but also and more importantly, I have gained a certain degree of social stability. My children are healthy and consume foods that are balanced and rich in proteins. My activities generate income that is allowing me to provide education and health care to my children. I am delighted to say that my community now pays greater consideration to me than it had previously when I was in the military.”

Women represent 60 to 80 percent of the agricultural labour force in Sub-Saharan Africa. They, however, have a more limited access than men to the means of production, inputs, agricultural services and rural employment. FAO continues to advocate for improved access of women farmers to agricultural resources and opportunities.