“My hope for women is more freedom, more courage to get out of the box, more openness to new ways of looking at themselves.”
June Pagaduan-Lopez (born 1951) has worked for more than three decades in human rights protection, psychosocial intervention and peace advocacy. As a professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) and a psychiatrist, she has helped human rights abuse victims in the Philippines and in other countries and contributed to the development of a more humane approach to medical practice. During the Martial Law regime, she risked arrest and detention and suffered personal and professional persecution because of her activism. She is currently head of the UP Center for Gender and Women’s Studies.
The work of Dr June Pagaduan-Lopez is well known and respected internationally because of her involvement both in the academe and in global networks that share her advocacy. In the medical profession, she is at the forefront of psychosocial trauma management. She got involved in human rights work as a student activist before and during the Martial Law era. After graduating from medical school in 1976 and having finished her residency in psychiatry in 1979, she helped found the Medical Action Group (MAG), a non-government, cause-oriented organization that provided medical and psychosocial support to victims of human rights abuses of the Marcos regime. Her work on torture victims resulted in the establishment of the Philippine Action Against Torture. At the UP Medical School, she worked for the implementation of a ten-hour Human Rights Course for Medical Students, the only one of its kind to be mainstreamed into an undergraduate medical curriculum in the country. A founding member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), she has trained medical practitioners in the detection, management and rehabilitation of torture victims and other survivors of political violence in the Philippines, East Timor, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and Kosovo. In East Timor, she managed a nationwide research project on the psychosocial effects of war trauma in coordination with the United Nations Transition Administration (UNTAET). Back in the Philippines, June Lopez decided to implement the East Timor concept in the war-torn regions of Muslim Mindanao. In 2002, using foreign and local government funds, she started “Balik-Kalipay” (Return to Happiness), a psychosocial intervention project for victims of armed conflict. It now covers 15 villages and has trained 46 teachers and more than 200 youth volunteers.
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) University of the Philippines Center for Gender and Women’s Studies Sexual Violence Research Initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Southeastern Asia | Philippines