03 May 2012

Peacebuilding-Project 2009-2011: Political Participation of Women and Girls in the peace processes

Women and children belong to the most vulnerable groups when it comes to war. They experience severe forms of violence, including sexualised violence. The women and girls then often experience a double trauma, firstly dealing with the physical and psychological consequences of the rape and then being excluded by their families and communities, who consider them responsible for the incident. In many cultures, the honour of the family and of the husband is closely connected to the supposed integrity of the wife’s sexuality, so raped women are judged to have brought shame over their husbands and/or families (rather than recognising the guilt of the perpetrator). They are then thrown out of their families and as a result, these women and girls have to care for themselves and their children without the usual support from their families and communities.

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03 May 2012

Peacebuilding-Project: Network Activities

The network activities are aimed at defining the problem areas in each country to be dealt with by the project and drawing up a strategy for the advocacy activities. It is also intended to assist the establishment of international connections between the three countries Afghanistan, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union and Germany.Project participants take part in two national network meetings per year and two international workshops. In all three countries the project coordinator works together with existing networks of participating women.

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03 March 2012

DR Congo: REMAK - Medical care and start-up aid for survivors of sexualised violence

Project sponsorship in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, South KivuIn 2001 in Kamituga, a community in the province of South Kivu, a group of mothers founded the first women’s organisation REMAK (Regroupement des Mamans de Kamituga). Their goal is to support survivors of sexualised violence with medical care and psychosocial counselling. In addition the organisation advocates the social reintegration of these women, who are often outcast and ostracised, mediates between women rape victims, their husbands, and their families, and provides them with income-generating means in order to raise their self-esteem and their status in their families and communities.

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28 February 2012

Women, the elections and peace in the DR Congo

Times are particularly harsh once again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In this country elections do not constitute a moment of hope for democracy and change but rather signify a moment of terror and impunity, often leading to disastrous consequences – and this especially for women. Human Rights Watch reported 24 dead and about 100 seriously wounded civilians in the DRC in the two weeks that followed the elections which were held at the end of November 2011. Immaculée Birhaheka, a women’s rights activist and director of a Congolese women’s non-governmental organisation called PAIF (Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Féminines), reported that most of those victims were women.

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15 February 2012

Afghanistan: “The Modest Wonder of a Normal Life“

„From Transition to Transformation“ was the highly promising title of the Afghan Conference, which took place on Monday in Bonn. Much was spoken about, written and discussed before the gathering of about 1000 delegates, which took place exactly ten years after the first Petersberg Conference on Afghanistan. Would representatives from the Taliban be present? Would Pakistan, whose role is seen as so essential for the establishment of peace in the entire region, take part? Would the Afghan civil society be allowed to have a say this time?

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08 February 2012

Kosovo: Medica Kosova and Medica Gjakova

Estimates suggest 20,000 women were raped during the Kosovo War (1998-1999). Many are still suffering from the consequences of the violence. Since 1999, Medica Kosova has been supporting survivors with comprehensive advice and the establishment of self-help groups. In 2011, the newly founded organisation Medica Gjakova also began to work in the region with a similar programme.

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