SIT alum nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
By: Tristan Roberts, OurWorld Staff
Marijana Senjak's organization supports women in war zones
An alumna of SIT's CONTACT
(Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) program, Marijana
Senjak, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Senjak's
nomination was one of 1,000 nominations of women made in a project
to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the
prize to a woman, and to recognize the involvement of women working
Senjak was nominiated by the Swiss parliamentarian and member
of the Council of Europe, Ruth-Gaby Vermont Mangold. The Nobel
Peace Prize has been awarded to 80 men, 20 organizations and only
13 women, an "injustice" that the "1,000 Women"
project aims to correct.
Women from all continents and from all social groups and classes
have been nominated -- women from villages, teachers, artists
and politicians, all of them fully engaged in creating a future
Senjak, who attended CONTACT's Summer Peacebuilding Institute
in 2002 and 2003 to earn a graduate certificate in psycho-social
foundations in peacebuilding, is the program director for Medica
Zenica, a non-governmental organization based in Bosnia-Herzegovina
that provides medical and pyschological support to women and children
war victims. Senjak has worked there since 1993.
Medica Zenica was founded in the midst of war in 1992 in Bosnia,
as a multi-ethnic therapy center. Women and their children suffering
from wartime traumas were given short and medium-term medical
and psychological care by specially trained female Bosnian gynaecologist,
pyschologists, and other medical professionals.
A psychologist and psychotherapist, Senjak is also the founder
of the Center for Psychological Help in the War, Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In addition to her graduate certificate from SIT, she completed
postgraduate studies in psychological sciences at University of
Zagreb and postgraduate studies in trauma psychology at University
of Sarajevo affiliated with Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich,
Germany. She undertook postgraduate studies in post-trauma therapy
at Medical School at the University of Sarajevo affiliated with
Senjak completed postgraduate studies at the International Trauma
Studies Program at New York University, where she was trained
in transactional analysis and in feministic psychodrama. In 2001
she conduct 30 workshops on psycho-social conflict resolution
with women and youth returnees in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation
and the Republic of Srpska.
Senjak was a lecturer on witnesses, their needs and role at International
Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia in The Hague in March 2004 and
at International Criminal Court in The Hague in January 2005.
She and the Women’s Therapy Centre Medica Zenica advocated
successfully for status of civil victims of war for the women
and girl survivors of war rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina; this
status was adopted by Bosnian law in February 2005.