Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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  Lynn Amowitz
  Physician for Human Rights
  Boston WWD Event 2001
  Born in 1964
  Researches international human rights violations and provides human rights training
 
Biography  up to top

Lynn Amowitz was born in 1964 and raised in North Carolina. There were very few Jews in the community in which her family lived, and although her parents founded a synagogue so that she could have a Bat Mitzvah, she faced anti-Semitic abuse from her peers.

Influenced by the discrimination she experienced as well as her grandparents' stories of their suffering in Eastern Europe, Amowitz turned to human rights work after earning a Masters in Public Health and a medical degree. Amowitz spent time in Africa during her residency, providing health care to a rural community. She returned to Africa to give humanitarian aid to refugees in Rwanda and Zaire. After a trip to Albania, Amowitz realized that she could make a bigger impact by doing more advocacy and policy work, since providing immediate aid to refugees did not alter the circumstances that created the refugee problem. In 2000, Amowitz began working for Physicians for Human Rights as a Fireman Fellow in Health and Human rights, creating a population-based study on human rights violation and the health status of women in Afghanistan. She has also been involved in human rights training for Kosovar physicians, and a study of sexual violence in Sierra Leone. She holds a position as an Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Amowitz lives in Providence, RI, with her husband and two children.

 
What She Said  up to top
ON JEWISH VALUES
[Being discriminated against] definitely shaped what I do now, it shaped my career, which is looking at discrimination and human rights abuses. And a lot of things have ...More 
ON FAMILY UPBRINGING
Why [I got involved in human rights work] is probably because having listened to my relatives, which I loved to do - listening to what happened in Russia ...More 
ON BEING A WOMAN ACTIVIST
In some ways, it's been easier as a woman, in the areas that I've been in. In other places it's been harder. Surprisingly, in Afghanistan it was actually easier ...More  Audio available
ON WORK AND FAMILY
Ari actually figured [my work] out on his own. When the Kosovar refugee crisis happened, he was watching TV with us ...More  Audio available
Having a family hasn't changed how I've done this work. The only time it was limiting was when I couldn't go to Sierra Leone because I was giving birth ...More 
ON TRADITIONAL ROLES
I don't think [my work] fits into women's traditional roles at all. It's not so common for women to travel and do these things on their own ...More 
ON PATH TO ACTIVISM
The first chance I got in residency, I went to Africa and spent twelve weeks in a really remote, rural part of Africa, doing medical care ...More 
[In Albania] I finally decided that I could no longer stand by, that as a humanitarian aid worker you always accept access for silence ...More 
ON IMPACT ON WORLD
I think where I have made the biggest impact is among medical students and residents who are interested in doing the things that I've done and are not quite sure how to do it ...More 
ON IMPACT ON SELF
It's made me more aware. It's made me more accepting and unaccepting in many ways - accepting of cultural norms that may or may not be compatible with western culture ...More 
ON CHALLENGES
[The biggest challenge was] learning everything that I needed to learn about human rights, because it wasn't taught to me ...More 
ON REWARDS
[The most rewarding thing about my work is] that I feel like I'm contributing ...More 
 
Multimedia  up to top
Photographs Photographs
Audio Clips Audio 
Answer - Being a Woman Activist (Lynn Amowitz)
Answer - Work and Family (Lynn Amowitz - ari)
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How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Lynn Amowitz." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=plamowitz>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Lynn Amowitz," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=plamowitz>.