„I turned down the German Federal Cross of Merit in 1996 in protest against the Minister of the Interior’s Resolution to repatriate Bosnian refugees” says Monika Hauser. Hauser is a woman with strong beliefs who has dedicated her life to work with victims of sexual violence. In the nineties she founded the non-governmental organisation medica mondiale, which supports war-traumatised women and girls in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Israel. Hauser presented the project at the GMF.
“As long as I can remember I have heard about sexual violence from my grandmother and aunts,” says Hauser. “And from early on I was convinced that violence against women and their health are linked.” So Hauser studied medicine, but quickly discovered that her boss and colleagues had no interest in dealing with sexual violence. And the obstacles didn’t end there.
“I’ve always faced considerable opposition: from a judge at the war crimes tribunal at Den Haag to a politician in Berlin or a journalist who doesn’t understand that he can’t interview a traumatised woman,” says the 50 year old. But never the less, Hauser carried on with her work. Last year she was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize.