Women in Crisis

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September 29, 2015

Strong women led the call for action at this year’s Social Good Summit. Day two kicked off with a powerful rally cry for Women in Crisis. Led by Savannah Guthrie (co-anchor of NBC News Today), Sienna Miller (actor and International Medical Corps Global Ambassador) and Rebecca Milner (Vice President of Institutional Advancement for International Medical Corps) discussed the realities of what women face in disastrous situations.

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In war zones and other areas of conflict, women are often targeted, as they are the very hearts of their families, their communities, and of society. The violence they experience, much of which Ms. Miller has learned about during her travels with International Medical Corps, is devastating and traumatic. She describes an ongoing psychological epidemic where destroying the dignity of women and breaking their humanity are used as a weapons of war.

When it comes to refugees, it’s hard to articulate the suffering. As it is, once a family is displaced it’s expected they’ll remain displaced for an average of 17 years. Refugees need help, and they need to feel the support and focus of the world.

So what is needed? A huge solution lies in investment in healthcare, specifically for women. As Ms. Milner says, “Protecting women is what will help.” Women in crisis need access to healthcare, to a safe place to have babies. They need nutrition, education, and mental healthcare services.

Women in crisis also need training and education to become self-sufficient on a long-term basis. Focusing on training, women healthcare workers are greatly needed. Women in labor are 70% more likely to survive childbirth with a trained health worker by their side. Providing this training will help women restore their lives as they can take care of themselves and their own communities.

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We must educate ourselves first, then teach others; tell our friends and communities, and together advocate for political solutions by contacting our community and political leaders to insist on actions to solve these problems.

When leaders put effective plans into place, women in crisis will get the attention and resources they need to stand against cultural convention to say, “I want an education.”

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International Medical Corps programs assist local communities on a path to self-reliance. Training is fundamental to all they do. 90 cents of every dollar donated to International Medical Corps goes directly to the field. Learn more about their programstheir approach, and their emergency response and preparedness. You can donate or give in other ways.

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