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We support women and girls in war and crisis zones

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Evaluation (2013-2016) proofs: Medica Gjakova in Kosovo provides full Support for survivors of sexualized violence

In Autumn 2015, medica mondiale commissioned two assessors, Petra Scheuer-mann and Erinda Bllaca, to visit the women’s rights organisation Medica Gjakova and evaluate the project which had been funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and medica mondiale. Women are provided with psy-chological and medical assistance, as well as support to claim their right to com-pensation and help to secure their own livelihood.

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This document lists the Goals and Indicators for our International Programme Work. Our aims include e.g.

  • Standardise and upgrade measures and instruments for ensuring professionalism in stress- and trauma-sensitive psychosocial work
  • Support governmental and non-governmental health care services’ integration of stress- and trauma-sensitive as well as empowerment approaches
  • Support of partner organisations in their advocacy work
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Since its establishment in 1993, medica mondiale has been pursuing the task of confronting sexualised violence in war at all levels with a firm, uncompromising, and active commitment to the rights of women. Changing political and social circumstances as well as internal growth and changed processes required a strategic reorientation. The international strategy of medica mondiale came into force in July 2012 and was revised in March 2016. Since the duration of the strategy has been extended until 2020, goals and indicators were adapted at the end of 2014.
The present paper was worked out by an interdisciplinary team of employees of medica mondiale.
 Following underlying principles are decisive for our commitment abroad:

- We provide holistic, interdisciplinary support for surviving women
- We want to change societal structures
- We develop and support local expertise and capacities
- We are not an emergency humanitarian organization. Our commitment is long-term.

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“I survived the war – but how can I survive the peace?” In 2014 we received the
results of a study on the long-term consequences of rape in war, which we carried
out with our partners in Medica Zenica. This lament from a Bosnian woman vividly
illustrates how hard survivors have to struggle with the repercussions of their rape,
even years later.

The study shows that we can give good support to women affected by violence, both
during a crisis and afterwards. They have gained new courage for facing their difficulties,
and have gone back to living their lives. But the study also shows that the rapes
and the – extremely difficult – overall post-war situation place a strain on them to this
day. Many women feel they have been failed by society, and by politics. They have
been stigmatised and ostracised, and are still given the blame for what they endured.
There are no state structures to support women as they struggle to cope. Neither in
the health nor the judicial system are staff trained in how to deal professionally with
people affected by sexualised violence. Indeed, there is even no awareness of the
fact that the impact of this violence is felt deep within society, affecting everything.
So we must keep on launching initiatives and campaigns to prevent rapes from being
dismissed as the problem of individual women. We must keep on calling for patriarchal
structures to be recognised as a cause – otherwise all efforts, no matter how
well-meaning, are doomed to failure.

We see this even today, a year after the “Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in
Conflict“ was held in London. We warmly welcomed the serious political will of former
British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie on this
occasion. This was the first conference at a high political level to put sexualised violence
in conflict explicitly on the international agenda. It aimed to spark a change in the public
perception and prosecution of rapists worldwide. But even this initiative falls short
of the mark. If rape in wartime continues to be portrayed merely as a tactic of war, and
the prevailing images of masculinity – under which men also suffer – are ignored, the
problem will, time and again, be dismissed as “a wartime phenomenon”. And there
will be no real shift in awareness, and the violence will continue.

Thank you for having followed and supported us over the past year!
With your help, we can carry on working for a better, fairer world.

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Fifteen years ago, the United Nations Security Council called for the protection of women and girls during armed conflict when it passed Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”. However, current crises such as those in South Sudan and Iraq demonstrate how sexualised and other forms of gender-based violence are still gruesome reality for many women and girls.

Together with the German Federal Government’s Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, Christoph Strässer, medica mondiale organised an Expert Dialogue in July 2015 on the topic “From rhetoric to practice: Strategies to prevent violence against women and girls during conflicts.” medica mondiale has compiled and published the presentations and discussions from the event in the form of a documentation.

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On October 11, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) organised its “Outlook Congress 2015” in Mainz, where some 500 participants discussed future directions for party policies. The founder of medica mondiale, Monika Hauser, was invited to take part as an independent expert. She spoke in the session on German foreign policy, together with the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “Peace requires justice for men and for women!” – this was the heart of Monika Hauser’s message.

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Original title: "Djeluju?i ka dostojanstvu" - Dokumentarni film 10'

In 2013 medica mondiale and her partner organisation Medica Zenica celebrated their 20th anniversary. Medica Zenica took up its work when in 1993 Monika Hauser together with Bosnian collegues opened a project house for supporting women survivors of war and sexualised violence.

The documentation film „Working towards dignity“ gives an overview of the work and mission of Medica Zenica. Different areas of the work of Medica Zenica are introduced, such as the Safe House or the Children Drop Center. It is pointed out that several publications made it possible for the organisation to gain attention and support by public figures such as UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

Sabiha Husic, director of Medica Zenica, explains that from the beginning Medica Zenica supports not only women who survived sexualised violence in war but also survivors of domestic violence or violence in the community.

Comments by Medica Zenica staff, beneficiaries as well as politicians shape a clear picture of the organisations work and highlight its importance.

The services that "Medica" provides include not only psychological or medical assistance, but also occupational therapy, legal aid and economic empowerment through vocational training courses also in rural areas, which are highly valued by their beneficiaries.

„Medica Zenica is the only organisation that came to our areas, rural areas – villages where no one comes. And they provided us with education and enabled it to be recorded into our work cards. That is a huge point!“ explains one of the clients. Another woman shares: „Medica Zenica gave me a lot, from psychological up to economic empowerment. I can simply provide a better future to my children."

Along with direct work with survivors of war trauma and post-war violence, Medica Zenica implements a variety of educational, research, advocacy, and publishing projects.

Husejin Smalovic, mayor of Zenica, outlines: „Everything that others have missed, everything hat others were supposed to do – Medica (Zenica) did.”


Video about the Research "We are still alive" on the long-term consequences of war rape and coping strategies of survivors in Bosnia Herzegovina

Research "We are still alive" and summary of the research on the long-term consequences of war rape and coping strategies of survivors in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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medica mondiale has been working in Liberia since 2006. As with previous projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan, it had always been the long-term aim to turn medica mondiale Liberia into an independent organisation. After nine years it became possible: On June 1, 2015, medica Liberia officially passed into the hands of local female experts.

The consequences of the severe Ebola crisis are still very tangible but the independence of the Liberian organisation is nonetheless a reason to be joyful – for us and our colleagues in Kosovo and Afghanistan, too. With this video message we are sending our congratulations to Liberia, paying tribute to the many steps, both great and small, which were and still will be necessary on the path of becoming a Liberian women’s rights organisation.

Monika Hauser, founder of medica mondiale: “I am very proud how brave and strong you have been to deal with this situation. We will continue our common fight for a better life for Liberian women and girls.”

Humaira Rasuli, Director of Medica Afghanistan: “In Afghanistan we say that it takes a decade to move from transition to transformation. You will do it!”

Sybille Fezer, Program Manager for Liberia at medica mondiale: “We wish you for your challenging work the wings and the joy of a bird, the stubbornness and endurance of a turtle, the flexibility of bamboo, the smartness of a mouse, the wisdom of a squirrel and the love of true human beings.”


Music: www.audionautix.com

Copyright: medica mondiale

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