Monika Hauser

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Monika Hauser in 2004.

Monika Hauser (born 24 May 1959 in Thal, Switzerland)[1] is a Swiss-born Italian physician gynecologist and humanitarian. She is the founder of Medica Mondiale, an internationally renowned women's rights and aid organization.[2] Hauser lives and works in Cologne.

Early life and education[edit]

Hauser spent her youth in the Swiss village of Thal, Saint Gallen, in German-speaking Switzerland, before continuing her medical studies in Innsbruck, Austria.[3] She completed her doctorate in medicine in Innsbruck and Bologna in 1984, obtained her German medical licence in 1988 and completed her gynaecological specialization at the Essen University Hospital in 1998.[4]


At the conclusion of her medical studies, Hauser moved to Cologne, where she began working on behalf of female victims of violence in warzones. To this end, she travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Congo, Liberia and Israel, with the organisation Medica Mondiale, which she founded.[1][5] In 1993, she set up the first rape crisis centre in Bosnia.[2] After her first years in the field, she suffered a mental breakdown in 1995, from which she only recovered after three months.[6]

In 1999, Hauser initiated the project Medica Mondiale Kosova, involving numerous project visits to Albania and Kosovo. In 2000, she assumed the operational leadership of Medica Mondiale.[4]

In 2017, Hauser joined Sima Samar, Gino Strada, Ran Goldstein and Denis Mukwege in signing an open letter published by The Lancet, in which they called on incoming Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom to focus on sexual and gender-based violence.[7]


Hauser received the Right Livelihood Award in 2008 and – together with Asma Jahangir – the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe in 2012 for her work with female victims of violence in conflict zones.[1] In addition, she is the recipient of the following honors:

In 1996, Hauser turned down the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in protest against the government's policy of forced repatriation of Bosnian refugees.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Hauser is married to fellow Medica Mondiale co-founder Klaus-Peter Klauner.[6] The couple has a son and lives in Cologne's Brühl district.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Right Livelihood Award: 2008 - Monika Hauser". Right Livelihood Award Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b Nicholas Watt, Ian Traynor and Maggie O'Kane (14 April 1999), Serbs have rape camp, says Cook The Guardian.
  3. ^ Laureates: Monika Hauser Right Livelihood Award
  4. ^ a b c Laureates: Monika Hauser Right Livelihood Award.
  5. ^ Cockburn, Cynthia (1998). The space between us: negotiating gender and national identities in conflict. Zed Books. p. 189. ISBN 978-1-85649-618-6. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  6. ^ a b Julia Rothhaas (31 December 2018), Die Kriegerin Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  7. ^ Samar, Sima; Strada, Gino; Hauser, Monika; Goldstein, Ran; Mukwege, Denis (7 July 2017). "Open letter to the UN's new health chief from "Alternative Nobel Prize" laureates" (PDF). The Lancet. 390 (10092): 359–360. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(17)31818-4. PMID 28693814. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Friedensfrauen weltweit". Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  9. ^ Monika Hauser ist „Europäerin des Jahres 2011“. In: 13 January 2011
  10. ^ State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia
  11. ^ Ehrenzeichen des Landes Tirol für Monika Hauser, February 14, 2019.