Monica Hauser Receives Right Livelihood Award

(Texts taken from the announcement of the Right Livelihood Award)
Monika Hauser (Germany), gynaecologist and founder of medica mondiale, receives an Award ‚for her tireless commitment to working with women who have experienced the most horrific sexualised violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and campaigning for them to receive social recognition and compensation.‘


(Texts taken from the announcement of the Right Livelihood Award)
Monika Hauser (Germany), gynaecologist and founder of medica mondiale, receives an Award ‚for her tireless commitment to working with women who have experienced the most horrific sexualised violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and campaigning for them to receive social recognition and compensation.‘

Monika Hauser is the founder of medica mondiale, which works to prevent and punish sexual violence against women and girls in wartime and to assist the survivors. Hauser and her colleagues have helped over 70,000 traumatised women and girls in war and post-war crisis zones in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Kosovo, DR Congo, Liberia and Afghanistan, often despite great risks to their own security.
Monika Hauser came to work with victims of sexual violence after being exposed as a young doctor in South Tyrol and Germany to women who had experienced rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Bosnia – Building up Medica Zenica: At the end of 1992, Hauser was shocked by the media reports about the tragedy of the Bosnian women, and the instrumentalisation of the survivors in the media, which often reduced the women to mere ‚rape victims‘. She assembled a highly motivated team of 20 Bosnian experts, collected the funding needed, brought the complete material for the clinics to Central Bosnia through the frontlines and built up Medica Zenica, a women\’s therapy centre, in the middle of war-torn Bosnia.
Setting up Medica Zenica, Hauser insisted on a multi-ethnic team. The creation of such a centre in a war situation was pioneering work, even more remarkable in a highly patriarchal and hostile war context.

medica mondiale: Out of these activities medica mondiale gradually evolved. For the next six years Monika Hauser continued to further the development of medica mondiale. She also returned to Zenica for several extended stays. In 1999, she initiated the project medica mondiale Kosova, involving numerous project visits to Albania and Kosovo. In 2000 Monika Hauser assumed the professional and political management of medica mondiale.

medica mondiale\’s mission: medica mondiale supports and assists women and girls in war zones and areas of crisis, whose physical, psychological, social and political integrity has been violated. This support and assistance is provided irrespective of the women\’s and girls\‘ political affiliation, ethnic origin or religion. The aim is to strengthen the women\’s self-healing powers and to support and demand their right to an emancipatory way of life. medica mondiale has a double strategy of individual professional support and human rights work by
– establishing sustainable local structures to provide support for survivors of wartime sexual violence,
– setting up interdisciplinary counselling and therapy centres,
– capacity building and training of local professional staff, and
– political advocacy for women\’s rights.

Honours: Hauser has received a number of awards for her work, for example ‚Woman of the Year‘ 1993 of the German ARD TV, and the Peter Beier Award of the German Lutheran Church. She turned down the German Federal Cross of Merit in protest against the German Government policy of forced repatriation of Bosnian refugees.