The Female Experience of War”: story of Lydia*, 16, Uganda

Sunday 8 March 2020

To mark International Women’s Day, @SCIDRC is releasing this powerful series of photographs entitled “The Female Experience of War” to highlight the unique experiences of girls growing up in conflict:

Case Study - Lydia*, 16, Uganda.

Lydia* is 16 years old and fled to Uganda following violence and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

After being raped by rebels, she fell pregnant and has a six-month-old son, Bin-tu*. In the DRC, Lydia* lived with her mother, who grew beans and maize. Lydia* says she “loved school”. But one day, when she was 15 years old, she got home from school to find her mother missing. Whilst she searched for her, Lydia* ran into a group of rebels, two of whom attacked and raped her.

She says she was in “pain and sorrow” and feels “bad” when she remembers what happened to her. Distraught and unable to find her mother, Lydia* fled, driving for a day until she ended up in a reception centre [in Kyaka II], where she found her aunt. When Lydia* began to feel sick some months later, she was tested for HIV.