Women Rising Radio Program XV: World Health Activists

MARY PIPHER: Psychologist Mary Pipher is well-known for her books, including the best seller Reviving Ophelia, about the soul journeys of adolescent girls. She is one of the over 150,000 members of the American Psychological Association. In 2007, she became visible worldwide because she returned a prestigious award from the APA to protest the fact that some of its members were designing and participating in the US military program of “enhanced interrogations” – torture. Says Mary, “If the APA banned us (psychologists) from the torture sites those sites would have to close, because there’d be no medical one to give them any legitimacy.” Mary’s mother was a physician and took her medical ethics very seriously. Mary considers it an honor to follow in her mother’s footsteps and work for the betterment of the human race. Human rights are of supreme importance to Mary Pipher.

PRUDENCE MABELE: More than 25 million poeple have died of AIDS and AIDS-related illness worldwide, and over 45 million are living with the disease. Nearly half are women..the UN recently estimated that over 15 million children have been made orphans by the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit the hardest. There in 1992, Prudence Mabele, a young South African university student,discovered that she was HIV positive. She’d had only one boyfriend, but he was a carrier. Prudence found that she was stigmatized by everyone at the university. The university administration brutally ostracized her, her church ostracized her, the boy friend abandoned her. But she joined the Treatment Action Campaign, an advocacy group that succeeded in pressuring the South African government to create its first national AIDS plan. She stood up in solidarity with National Association of People Living with HIV, and announced on worldwide television that she was HIV positive. Then she helped build the Pan African Treatment Action Movement, and has been a tireless activist in spite of her own illness.