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Medica Mondiale Founder to Assess Liberian Project

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Dr. Monika Hauser, founder and executive member of the managing board of Medica Mondiale is expected to arrive in Liberia today, November 11, on a two-week assessment mission of progress made here.

Medica Mondiale Liberia currently offers psychosocial, legal and health support to women and girls affected by sexualized and other forms of violence. The same project being undertaken by Medica Mondiale Liberia is ongoing for Ivorian refugee women and girls.  Since 2010, Medica Mondiale Liberia has been on a journey to be transformed into national vibrant women Non-governmental Organization or NGO.

“She is arriving in Liberia from Nov. 11 on a two-week mission. The purpose of her visit is to assess progress made thus far and the process of transformation to a national NGO. Lastly, she (will) meet strategic partners within the country including the Minister of Gender and Devt,” the release said.

Monika Hauser was born in 1959 in Switzerland, and holds an Italian passport due to her family roots in South Tyrol. She completed her doctorate in medicine in Innsbruck and Bologna in 1984, obtained her German medical license in 1988 and completed her gynecological specialization in 1998.

She came to work with victims of sexual violence after being exposed as a young doctor in South Tyrol and Germany to women who had experienced rape and other forms of sexual violence.

In 1992, she was shocked by the media reports about the tragedy of the Bosnian women and -while the war in Bosnia was still going on -joined forces with approximately 20 female psychologists and doctors from Bosnia to fight for the rights of traumatized women and children.

In a joint effort, they founded the women’s therapy center Medica Zenica in the central Bosnian City of Zenica in spring 1993. In connection with these activities, medica mondiale gradually evolved. At the same time, she returned to Zenica for several extended stays.

Monika Hauser then since continued to further the development of medica mondiale in her capacity as a board member. In 1999, she initiated the project Medica Mondiale Kosova, involving numerous project visits to Albania and Kosova.

For 20 years Medica Mondiale has supported and assisted women and girls in war zones and areas of crisis, such as Afghanistan, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, whose physical, psychological, social and political integrity has been violated.

This support and assistance is provided irrespective of the women’s and girls’ political affiliation, ethnic origin or religion. The aim is to strengthen the women’s self-healing powers and to support and demand their right to an emancipatory way of life.

Since the formation of Medica Mondiale, Monika Hauser has worked for the recognition of sexualized violence in wartime as a war crime, for the prosecution of the perpetrators, and against social stigma and the marginalization of the survivors.

Monika Hauser has received numerous esteemed awards for her work such as the Gustav-Heinemann Award, the Annette Barthelt Award and the Peter Beier Award of the German Lutheran Church, as well as the Rotary Award of Trentino, South Tyrol.

In 1993, she was named “Woman of the Year” by ARD Tagesthemen, important German news broadcast. She turned down the German Federal Cross of Merit in protest against the Minister of the Interior´s Resolution on the Repatriation of Bosnian Refugees in 1996.

Monika Hauser is among the 1000 women selected as a member of the “1000 Women for Peace” initiative, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

In 2008 she was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize and since 2012 she has been laureate of the German “State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia”.

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