|How to act||
Structural support, Women
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Köln, Zenica
1993, 1994, 1995
Several women’s initiatives emerged within Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, supported by women and groups from other countries. Shocked by reports about the enormous number of raped women, the Swiss-Italian gynecologist Monica Hauser travelled from her home in Germany to Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 1993. In Zenica, she met and worked with female Bosnian psychologists and doctors, and together they established a centre for helping raped and other war-traumatised women and their children. Thanks to financial donations collected in Germany, in April 1993 Medica Zenica took up its work with the inauguration of a house that included a gynecologist’s practice, psychological counselling and accommodation. The women’s centre in Zenica grew rapidly, and in the first year alone, about 4,000 women received general medical, gynecological and psychological care. After returning to Germany, Monika Hauser created the “Medica mondiale” association in Cologne and continued to support the Medica centre in Zenica with advice and money raised in public campaigns.
Three decades after its establishment, the Medica centre in Zenica is still active, working with women and children survivors of war rape and sexual violence, peacetime violence and other forms of domestic and community violence, as well as survivors of human trafficking. Other examples of women’s initiatives that emerged during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the support of international activists are “Vive Žene” and “Amica”, both in Tuzla.