1 Jan 2003

Rebecca Gomperts

Women's activist

Art, the sea and the struggle for selfdetermination for women.

Rebecca Gomperts (1966) started her career as a medical doctor. While still studying medicine she trained at the Rietveld Academy. After obtaining her license as an abortion doctor she successfully completed her training at the Nautical College in Enkhuizen.

Art, the sea and the struggle for selfdetermination for women are the three subjects that keep reapperaring in her life in different guises.
Working as a ship's doctor on Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior, as a freelance abortion doctor in several clinics and the writing of the novel Flotsam are only some examples of this.

Her three talents come together expressly in her latest iniative, the founding of Women on Waves, a Dutch non-profit organisation devoted to the cause of women's rights and health.

With a specialised ship Women on Waves sails to countries where abortion is illegal to attract attention to the right to abortion and to counteract illegal abortions that threaten the health of women. Women can undergo a free over time treatment in a mobile clinic designed by an artist.

Proof that the docking of the ship does have its influence is the initiation of the organisation Doctors Pro Choice and the rejection by referendum of an even stricter abortion jurisdiction in Ireland, the target of Women on Waves' first action.

In her lectures and articles Rebecca Gomperts puts a direct connection between the right to selfdetermination for women and the universal human rights.


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