We support women and girls in war and crisis zones



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Palaver Huts (Liberia)

Space where women can feel safe and free from disturbance and talk to a counsellor in private

medica mondiale Liberia constructed 2011 "Palaver Huts" in remote villages as a space where women can feel safe and free from disturbance. These simple, open clay huts serve as points that women can reach rapidly in emergency situations. They can then go into a room attached to the hut to talk to a counsellor in private.

Partiality for women

Unconditional solidarity with women having experienced violence

medica mondiale’s staff show unconditional solidarity with women having experienced violence. They are committed to the cause of women and girls as their advocates, speaking openly about and condemning injustice, discrimination and violence.


Women taking active parts in conflict resolution strategies, peace processes, constitutions and laws

medica mondiale works towards women taking active parts in developing conflict resolution strategies and advancing peace processes and also writing constitutions and making laws. To that end, we support, among other things, the work of activists in the field of women’s politics and the building of comprehensive networks. Also at project level medica mondiale supports active participation of all women involved in the projects in one way or another.

Peace Committee in Liberia

A committee within a village community which helps to resolve conflicts, including those involving gender-based violence.

Traditionally, conflicts in Liberian communities are resolved by the community leaders. However, medica Liberia carefully selected suitable communities and held discussions with them about supplementing this tradition with a peace committee. This committee would then take on any cases involving sexualised or gender-based violence. The committees consist of both men and women, and they work together at a community level to find solutions to conflicts. The community members who join these committees are trained by medica Liberia and made aware of...


Political commitment to women’s rights

Provide encouragement and training for local women’s rights activists

medica mondiale provides encouragement and training for local women’s rights activists to improve their political and advocacy work. Examples include campaigns against the internationally prevalent culture of impunity for perpetrators of sexualised wartime violence or demands for an increased participation of women in peace negotiations.

Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI)

Initiated by the British Foreign Minister William Hague and the UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie

On May 29, 2012, the British Foreign Minister William Hague and the UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie launch the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) in London. This campaign is intended to ensure that in the 21st century, sexualised violence can no longer be used as a weapon of war.


Core appeals

The main appeals made by the British Foreign Minister as part of this initiative against sexualised violence include:

  • consistent prosecution - this has taken form as an International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual...

Prosecution of sexualised violence (Germany)

Reporting and prosecuting crimes against sexual self-determination, and the rate of conviction

Chapter Thirteen of the German Criminal Code details offences against sexual self-determination. Offences punishable under criminal law include rape and sexual assault or coercion (whether by use of force or threats). A reform in 2016 further clarifies that these are crimes where there is no consent (“No means No”), whereas previously there was a requirement for physical resistance. Rape and sexual assault are to be punished with imprisonment, as detailed in Section  177: “Whosoever coerces another person by force [...] to suffer sexual acts by...


Psychological trauma

Overwhelming feeling of helplessness; a survival response to life-threatening occurrences

A psychological trauma destroys the feeling of security and it attacks a human’s basic sense of trust. Personal boundaries are violated, self-esteem is undermined and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness is created. As a result, panic attacks, depression, chronic pain or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can impair the life of the victims for many years.

In areas of war and conflict, the population is confronted by a number of different burdensome experiences and stressors, including many traumatic experiences: the latter are defined...


Public education via radio (Afghanistan)

Interviews and reports on the topic of “Psychological health”

To raise awareness of violence against women and its consequences Medica Afghanistan produces radio programmes with interviews and reports on the topic of “Psychological health”. Listeners in Afghanistan gain an impression of the psychosomatic illnesses caused by the trauma women experience by hearing anonymised interviews with patients and hospital staff. This is a good way to reach the large proportion (over 80 per cent) of Afghan women who cannot read or write.

See also “Educational and public relations work, awareness raising"