Fight like a girl: the female boxers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Photographer Hugh Kinsella Cunningham met four of DRC’s 22 female boxers and spoke to them about their personal journeys in a patriarchal society

Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a city that lives and breathes sport. Militia violence in the countryside and the corruption of the political system seem distant problems when ducking errant footballs and dodging boxers sparring in the roads of “Kin La Belle”.

It is a largely patriarchal country, with women responsible for domestic work and absent from most positions of power. DRC has also been riven by years of bloodshed, with widespread sexual assault with rape frequently used as an instrument of terrorism and war.

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