Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face significant economic, social, and cultural obstacles to obtaining higher education. As a result of these challenges and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI) commitment to promoting women's participation in the legal profession, ABA ROLI implemented a legal scholarship and internship program for female students in the country. Since its inception in 2011, the program has helped dozens of Congolese women graduate and make a positive impact in their communities.
ABA ROLI reached out to Rita Rubayi Salama, a former legal scholarship recipient, to explore the impact the program had on her career. Ms. Salama graduated from the University of Goma after receiving the scholarship in her second year of school in 2013. Ms. Salama is now a lawyer at the North Kivu Bar, as well as an assistant Faculty of Law at the University of Goma. She also works as a consultant for ABA ROLI’s Atrocity Prevention Project in DRC.