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Project Update: Health Care for Women in Pakistan's Displacement Camps
Posted on: Friday, March 18, 2011
For the millions of Pakistani people still living through the aftermath of last summer’s floods, the crisis continues. Families have been separated, and communities are struggling to rebuild. Almost 10 million of those affected are women, many still living in displacement camps with little access to much-needed services like food and medical care. Through MADRE support of the local organization, Shirkat Gah, we are able to help meet the basic needs of women and their families, particularly for sexual and reproductive health services.
Women in the camps still face huge challenges every day as they struggle to support their families and care for their children. Dangerous camp conditions offer few resources to protect against disease; in one camp, five lavatories serve 300 people. Security is a major concern, as women face the threat of sexual violence and harassment. Shirkat Gah gathered testimonies demonstrating that women who have been raped are sometimes forced to marry their rapist. (See video below.)
With MADRE support, Shirkat Gah is working in several displacement camps region, setting up free medical clinics and distributing food, clothing and soap. They have employed health workers to provide care and have initiated a family planning campaign to help ensure women’s sexual and reproductive health.
In northern Pakistan, Shirkat Gah used MADRE support to create six free medical clinics, giving over 700 women access to health care. Nearly 100 of these women were pregnant and received delivery kits with basic supplies to assist in a safe birth.
Women-led relief efforts are crucial to ensure that aid reaches the most vulnerable. In the video below, women share stories of being forced to bring a male relative’s identification card to receive supplies—or of being denied altogether.
The videos below were created by Shirkat Gah to tell the stories of women and families still struggling to rebuild: