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27 September 2013

Press Release: Men as allies in the fight against sexualised violence

medica mondiale congratulates Denis Mukwege on receiving the Right Livelihood Award 2013: Cologne, 27 September 2013. “An important signal is being sent with the jury’s decision to award the Right Livelihood Award 2013 to Denis Mukwege, a man who has spent many years actively working to achieve integrated care provision for survivors of sexualised wartime violence.“ Monika Hauser, founder of the women's rights organisation medica mondiale, offers her personal congratulations to the58-year-old gynaecologist and director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo, on his receipt of the 'Alternative Nobel Prize 2013'.

"We can only win our fight toend violence against women and girls if men such as Denis Mukwege speak up clearly and actively join in." Ms Hauser went on to praise how he did even more than setting up a ward inhis hospital for survivors of sexualised violence: he also initiated a self-help project for women.

UN figures report figures for women being raped across the country as high as 1,200 in three months (e.g. from January to March 2010). medica mondiale has been collaborating with the Congolese women’s rights organization PAIF (Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Féminines) since 2004 in Goma. In the Kivu provinces in the east of DR Congo, PAIF advises and assists women and girls who have been raped, conducts awareness-raising work on the issue of violence against women, and campaigns to ensure that perpetrators are punished.

Ms Hauser herself received the Right Livelihood Award in 2008 "for her tireless commitment to working with women who have experienced the most horrific sexual violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and campaigning for them to receive social recognitionand compensation".

Since 1993, medica mondiale has been committed to supporting women and girls in war zones and crisis areas. The organization sees itself as being an advocate for the rights and interests of women who have survived sexualised wartime violence. In addition to gynaecological treatment and psychosocial and legal assistance, medica mondiale also offers programmes to help women secure their own livelihood and it carries out political human rights work.

Contact:

Mechthild Buchholz
Press Spokeswoman
E-Mail: mbuchholz(at)medicamondiale.org
Phone: +49 (0) 221 - 93 18 98 25