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July 11, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide of Srebrenica. More than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb troops who had captured the city of Srebrenica. This genocide during the Bosnian war is considered the most serious war crime in Europe since the Second World War. Tens of thousands of women and girls experienced sexualised violence during the Bosnian war. More than 100,000 people lost their lives.


To this day – 25 years after the Dayton Peace Agreement – there are hardly any measures to come to terms with the past and no common policy of remembrance. Politicians tend to promote the division of the population instead of initiating a reconciliation process. Many war criminals are still worshipped as heroes.


Sabiha Husic of Medica Zenica commemorates the victims of the massacre on the occasion of the 25th anniversary and recounts how Medica Zenica supported surviving women and girls after the genocide. She highlights the importance of acknowledging suffering for trauma management, coming to terms with the past and reconciliation.


The video was broadcast at the event "Srebrenica: 25 years on – Remembrance. Justice. Reconciliation" by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Bundestagsfraktion.

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In June 1999, the war in Kosovo ended. As in every conflict, sexualised violence against women and girls was widespread. The traumatic experiences of war and war rape run deep through Kosovarian society. What is the effect of the Corona pandemic on societies in transition, and in particular on survivors of violence?


The Kosovarian women’s rights organization Medica Gjakova warns that the state of emergency takes a heavy toll on the mental health of survivors. On the one hand, the situation can lead to feelings of insecurity, which are particularly harmful for women working through trauma. On the other hand, the retreat to “the private” is for many women not a safe option.


What do survivors of violence need during this time? What can their supporters do to accommodate their needs? And how can the supporters take care of themselves?


Leonita Gojani, who is a psychosocial counsellor at the Kosovarian women's rights organization Medica Gjakova, discusses war trauma, the risk of retraumatization and ways to support survivors with Jennifer Marchand, trauma advisor at medica mondiale.


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Video: Corona-Talk – How to fight for Women`s rights in a Crisis

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Policy Briefing on the Third National Action Plan of the German government


20 years ago, after continuous pressure by international civil society, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted ground-breaking Resolution 1325, “Women, Peace and Security”. Nine follow-up resolutions expanded the pillars of the Women Peace and Security Agenda: participation of women in peacebuilding, protection of women and girls in armed conflict, prevention of armed conflicts as well as gender-equitable help, reconstruction, and reintegration.


The German government is currently implementing Resolution 1325 in the context of the Second National Action Plan. The Women, Peace and Security Agenda is also a focal point of its current non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council. The German government has made some significant progress especially during the current legislative term under the leadership of Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas. And yet, Germany still has fundamental issues with its national and international implementation. The political will to implement the Agenda as consistently as, for example, demonstrated by Sweden’s feminist foreign policy, is still lacking.


German civil society has compiled this policy paper as a contribution to the development of the Third National Action Plan. Based on the four pillars of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, it illustrates the obligations of the German government and the current state of implementation. Furthermore, it contains recommendations for action.


Signed by:


Amica e.V., Care Deutschland e.V., Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, Deutscher Frauenrat e.V., Deutscher Frauenring e.V., Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V., Gunda-Werner-Institut, Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freiheit, International Rescue Committee, medica mondiale e.V., OWEN e.V., The Canaan Project, UN Women, Nationales Komitee Deutschland e.V.

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Ces tuyaux peuvent vous aider à trouver desmesures raisonnables pour prendre soin de vous-mêmes à l’époque de la Corona. Mais ils vont aussiplus loin et tiennent compte du fait que nousfaisons toutes partie d’une même communauté etque nous sommes toutes touches différemment parcette pandémie. 

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Corona-Talk Compilation: How can women's rights work continue under difficult conditions, such as now in the Corona pandemic?


Compilation of a talk between Caroline Bowah, Director of medica Liberia and Sybille Fezer, Director of medica mondiale and former regional manager for Liberia about how the Ebola epidemic in 2014 affected their work and life. How did medica Liberia as a women’s rights organization transformed their work and therefor played a key role in curbing the epidemic back in the days?


The Covid-19 crisis sheds light on the vulnerability of women’s rights all over the world. Women are key in coping with crisis, most of the life-sustaining work is done by women. At the same time the situation for women gets worse in the moment a crisis occurs. Violence against women is increasing, for instance physical isolation leads to a rise in domestic violence. Important political projects are crossed from the agenda, attention for long-term feminist issues declines. Women’s rights organizations have to reorganize their work and sometimes completely turn upside down their work in order to respond to an epidemic.


Related topics


Video: Corona-Talk, full version – How to fight for Women`s rights in a Crisis

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Corona-Talk, full version: How can women's rights work continue under difficult conditions, such as now in the Corona pandemic?


Caroline Bowah, Director of medica Liberia and Sybille Fezer, Director of medica mondiale and former regional manager for Liberia were working together in 2014 when Ebola hit Liberia. In a live-streamed conversation these two well experienced women’s rights defenders are remembering how the epidemic affected their work and life. Caroline shares first hand information about how an epidemic crisis lead to a worsening of women’s rights and gives insights on what preventive and urgent measures could be. How did medica Liberia as a women’s rights organization transformed their work and therefor played a key role in curbing the epidemic back in the days?


The Covid-19 crisis sheds light on the vulnerability of women’s rights all over the world. Women are key in coping with crisis, most of the life-sustaining work is done by women. At the same time the situation for women gets worse in the moment a crisis occurs. Violence against women is increasing, for instance physical isolation leads to a rise in domestic violence. Important political projects are crossed from the agenda, attention for long-term feminist issues declines. Women’s rights organizations have to reorganize their work and sometimes completely turn upside down their work in order to respond to an epidemic.

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The Syria/Iraq region has been a focus of our grant program for partner organisations since autumn 2014. Women and girls from Syria and Iraq are affected by and threatened with sexualised violence both in their home regions and when fleeing. In cooperation with local women’s organisations in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, and the regional government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Dohuk, Iraq, we are training the staff in safe houses and women’s advice centres as well as police officers and healthcare professionals in the provision of emergency assistance to women and girls affected by violence.


You can find further information on our work in the region here.

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