Hauser, founder of the Cologne-based women’s help organization “medica mondiale,” received the “Right Livelihood Award 2008” for her “tireless commitment to working with women who have experienced the most horrific sexual violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and campaigning for them to receive social recognition and compensation,” the organization said on Wednesday in Stockholm.
The 49-year-old doctor has founded women’s centres in the war torn countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Liberia, and most recently, Afghanistan. Much of her work there focuses on forced marriages, she said, adding that the prize of €210,000 would be “great support” toward further work.
Hauser said she wished for “international politics to finally hear what women around the world are saying and that women could participate in peace negotiations so their reality could be put in a new light.”
The annual award honours justice and peace work and went to three other activists – Amy Goodman, the American founder of Democracy Now!, Somali womens’ rights activist Asha Hagi, and Krishnammal and Sankaralingam Jagannathan of India for their organization Indian Land for the Tillers’ Freedom (LAFTI).
The awards have been dubbed the “Alternative Nobel Prize” because they are handed out just a few days before the Nobel Prize ceremony each year.