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Need for action on the implementation of the agenda „Women, Peace and Security“ by the German Foreign Office.
"In January 2019, Germany will take up a non-permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) for a two-year period. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had agreed to make the issue of „Women, Peace and Security“ a priority of the policies he will represent during this period and to promote the issue actively in New York. In this regard, he expressly referred to the „close connection“ between “gender equality, the protection of human rights, sustainable development and the preservation of peace and security“.
Foreign policy such as this would contribute towards an appropriate participation of the majority of the population – in other words, women, children and the elderly – in efforts to prevent crises and build peace, while protecting them effectively from violence. Here, Germany can pick up the work started by Sweden. In 2014, Sweden was the first country to announce a „feminist foreign policy“ and represent this in the Security Council. However, in the view of the organisations authoring this paper, the following measures are necessary if practical impacts are to be achieved from a human rights-based, gender-equal and therefore peace-building foreign policy such as the one announced by the German Foreign Minister."


Policy Briefing signed by:
medica mondiale e. V., Amica e. V., Care, Deutscher Frauenrat, Women's International League For Peace & Freedom, Frauennetzwerk für Frieden, UN-Women, Deutscher Frauenring e. V., Heinricht Böll Stiftung/Gunda Werner Institut, OWEN.
Copyright: Jeannette Böhme (medica mondiale), Anica Heinlein (CARE) und Ines Kappert (Gunda-Werner-Institut)

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Dear readers,
It is now 25 years since I set out for the war-torn Balkans, driven by my indignation at the mass rape of women and girls and the sensationalist media reporting. As a junior gynaecologist, I knew that the survivors would need immediate help. Nevertheless, even at the time, I knew long-term help and support would be required, if they were ever going to come to terms with their traumatic experiences and start living normal lives again. The suffering of those affected does not quickly subside – as we know from World War II – but has a lifelong impact that continues into the next generation.
I knew early on, that such a solution was only possible through working closely with local women on the ground. Our working commitment demonstrates what solidarity can accomplish. With around 30 partner organisations, we have provided medical, psychosocial and legal support to more than 150,000 survivors, empowering them and giving them prospects for the future. medica mondiale has developed into a professional organisation, with high standards in the provision of sustainable project work and our own specific stress and trauma-sensitive approach.
I was similarly aware that in the case of the Balkan war, we were not just dealing with one-off incidents of excessive violence, but with a continuum of violence that was deeply rooted in patriarchal attitudes and structures. Sexualised violence – in Syria, Afghanistan, Eastern Congo or here in Germany, perpetrated by soldiers, members of militias, neighbours or husbands, is a worldwide phenomenon. As long as gender-based hierarchies continue to exist, women, even during times of peace, will not be safe.
One problem is the continuing impunity, both in war and post-war regions and in highly developed countries. In Germany, too, only one fifth of all rapes is reported to the police, with only a small percentage of perpetrators sentenced. What is lacking is the political will to enforce laws that already actually exist. Gender-based inequality makes sexualised violence possible, but it is already evident in education and income distribution.
Dismantling these structures requires patience and perseverance. That is why we will not let up in our commitment to provide resistance wherever discrimination and violence prevail. We will continue to prosecute human rights violations and call those responsible to account. This also includes ending the destructive arms trade. There is, instead, a need for peaceful conflict resolution, in which women play an active role.
To mark the 25th anniversary of medica mondiale, we are launching a campaign in 2018 entitled “My body is no battlefield”. This will seek to spotlight the discrimination and violence women and girls are faced with every day – in war situations, while they are fleeing and, even, during times of ostensible peace. We are counting on your support, so that women and girls throughout the world are able to say: My body is no battlefield!
Dr. Monika Hauser

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News about the evaluation report "Returning to life – together"
Improvement of social integration of survivors and their children born from sexual and gender-based violence during the genocide in Rwanda
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the local social reconciliation process in Rwanda which responds to long-term psychosocial consequences resulting from crimes against humanity during the 1994 Genocide, notably conflict-related sexualised violence (CRSV) associated with political conflict.
The project promotes a psychosocial approach centred on families living with children born of rape. With activities such as solidarity and self-help groups, psychosocial support, socio-economic follow up and/or sensitisation the local non-governmental organisation SEVOTA has improved psychosocial well-being of mothers and their children, helped them out of isolation and actively participate in social processes.

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Copyright: Deutsche Welle
The focus of the interview of Deutsche Welle with the founder of the women's rights organisation medica mondiale is on the children born out of the Bosnian war: those whose life began some 25 years ago as their mothers were raped.
Who were the perpetrators? Enemy soldiers, blue berets, paramilitaries, members of hostile ethnic groups, former neighbours, staff of relief organisations, and many more. For decades nobody has spoken about these children or the human rights violations that their mothers had to suffer. Even though the same happens in almost any war.
One thing is clear: neither the sexualised violence nor the silence about it happen by chance. In Bosnia-Herzegovina there were at least some women’s organisations, such as Medica Zenica and Vive Žene in Tuzla, who started to offer support for women and girls at an early stage.
Eliminating taboos, breaking through silence, and raising public awareness of the smouldering consequences of wartime violence are all declared aims of the newly founded organisation Forgotten Children of War. It was set up in 2015 by two people whose entire childhood and youth saw them stigmatised as children of war. They both have the strength necessary to battle injustices and taboos: Ajna Jusic and Alen Muhic. medica mondiale is very keen to raise donations enabling it to provide Forgotten Children of War with financial and expert assistance.
TV-Interview with Ajna Jusic from Forgotten Children of War.

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News about the evaluation report "Decidedly side by side with women"
Awareness, Access, Advice, Advocacy, Assertion. Legal and social protection and empowerment of Afghan women and girls in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to improved legal and social protection of Afghan women and girls survivors of (Sexual) Gender Based Violence ((S)GBV) in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. The direct beneficiaries include women and girls affected by (S)GBV, in conflict with the law and/or affected by family violence, as well as their children and families. During the course of the project, Medica Afghanistan supported more than five thousand women with their services including legal advice, legal awareness sessions, civil or criminal representation, support in EVAW 1 cases and/or mediation.

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medica mondiale, having built trustful partnerships with women’s organisations in the Great Lakes Region since 2004, contributed to their professionalisation and the quality of their services by providing technical and financial support. The purely financial support by medica mondiale’s Small Grants Program proved to be successful to get to know a variety of local women’s organisations. However, in particular in South Kivu, the lack of appropriate qualification of many of these small organisations remained a serious challenge. As a response, medica mondiale developed the South Kivu Support Programme which consists of 5 main elements: Organisational capacity development; Qualification in trauma-sensitive psychosocial work; Knowledge exchange and networking amongst the organisations; Joint advocacy; and Financial support by the provision of funds for the implementation of micro-projects.

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Bombs, war and destruction are not the only reasons that women flee their countries: they also flee because sexualised violence is something they suffered or fear that they or their children will be subjected to. War has always been conducted on the bodies of women.
Our demands relating to women refugees and sexualised wartime violence
During war and while seeking refuge, women and girls are subjected to violence. The perpetrators include spouses, police officers, rebels, traffickers, other refugees, and workers or volunteers in refugee accommodation. So women find themselves in their very own war – one that is being conducted against them because of their gender.

  1. Family reunification has to be made possible for all refugees
  2. Abandon plans for all-in-one “Anchor” refugee facilities
  3. No further “safe countries of origin” to be designated
  4. Sexualised wartime violence has to be finally accepted as grounds for asylum
  5. Support survivors of sexualised violence in their countries of origin



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The conference was held on 14th May 2018 in Sarajevo / Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dr. Monika Hauser: Healing of human rights violations needs memorisation and recognition by society & government - 25 years of experience of medica mondiale in conflict & post-war regions

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