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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01 February 2012

DR Congo: AFPDE - Medical aid for female rape victims

Project sponsorship in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, South KivuWith medica mondiale support, the Congolese women’s organisation AFPDE (Association des Femmes pour la Promotion et le Développement Endogène) is able to provide medical care to women in Kaniola, a community in the province of South Kivu. AFPDE helps with the payment for operations and medication, and also ensures that women receive psychosocial support. Around 950 survivors of sexualised violence have been able to obtain medical and psychosocial help since 2008 thanks to medica mondiale.

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16 January 2012

Medica Afghanistan: Psychosocial counselling and training

Everyday life for women in Afghanistan is still characterised by extreme breaches of human rights. According to UN reports, rape is still commonplace and 87 per cent of women are regularly beaten. This often leads to serious psychosocial problems and even psychosomatic illness. Medica Afghanistan offers Afghan women regular conversation groups and individual counselling sessions to help them deal with their trauma and find a new lease of life.

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15 May 2011

Medica Kosova: Breaking the silence

During the Kosova War, Serbian members of the military raped thousands of Kosova Albanian women and girls, and Albanian militiamen committed acts of terrible violence against Roma women. The military razed houses, destroyed fields and killed men and boys. What remains are many war widows and women who have to date not managed to speak about what happened to them. For rape is regarded as a “violation of honour” in traditional Kosovan society. It is a taboo subject.

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