Faced with crises, conflicts and environmental disasters, humanitarian action has had to adapt. It now occupies an important place in our societies and in international Geneva.
Ms. Brocher’s grandfather, Jakob Dubs, was, in his capacity as President of the Swiss Confederation, the President of the International Conference of Geneva which led to the ratification of the Geneva Convention. Before the conference, he was the contact person for Henry Dunant and General Dufour in Bern. Sensitive to their cause, he fought at the federal level, then with foreign states, to convince them of the need to find an agreement to settle the fate of the war wounded. He was also the first president of the Swiss Red Cross.
Madame Brocher lived in admiration of her grandfather and his role in the development of the Spirit of Geneva. In turn, with her doctor husband, she invested herself in creating the Brocher Foundation. The mission of this Foundation is to promote research that will allow the study of the links between ethics, law, society and health. The goal is to improve the research process on the human being and the condition of people in general faced with a health problem. The Foundation has decided to dedicate the anniversary of its 15 years of activity to the field of humanitarian action in homage to Mrs. Brocher and her grandfather. This field represents only one facet of the Foundation’s activities.
The objective of this discovery tour is to highlight some of the women involved in humanitarian action who have shaped and are still shaping this field. The discovery tour is composed of two parts: yesterday’s figures and today’s figures.
It is the work of two researchers from the University of Geneva, Professor Dolores Martin Moruno and Dr. Valérie Gorin and their students in the context of their studies on humanitarian action. Their research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). They studied the profiles of a dozen women. These former figures broke the codes of the society of the time and gave their mark to humanitarian action.
The journey of today’s figures:
The Foundation wished to highlight the diversity of contemporary women’s trajectories and the variety of current humanitarian professions.
Like thousands of other committed women, these women prove to us that the path to humanitarian action is not a straight line. This journey of discovery is a sample of the different possibilities of commitment. It is illustrated through a subjective and non-hierarchical selection of profiles.