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Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Ipas, 2008. 4 p.The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 25-50 percent of maternal deaths in refugee settings are attributable to unsafe abortions. Making pregnancy safer includes timely and appropriate management of unsafe and spontaneous abortion for all women, and the provision of or referral for safe abortion services to the full extent allowed by law. Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) has been used worldwide for more than three decades, enabling millions of women in developed and developing countries to undergo safe and effective uterine evacuation for treatment of incomplete abortion and first-trimester abortion, as well as endometrial biopsy. This brochure highlights how MVA is an important part of safe, effective abortion and postabortion care in conflict settings.
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.Why Women and Peace? The theme imposed itself. The last year of the 20th century represented an invitation and challenge to recapitulate and remember as well as to compare scores and balance sheets of the turbulent epoch we were leaving behind. No doubt, the 20th century was the century of wars. As never before in human history civilians paid the highest price of conflicts and conflagrations. In the two world wars and innumerable local wars, interventions, internal ethnic clashes, revolutions and coups, more than 100 million people were killed - the vast majority of them being civilians. Sometimes they were directly targeted; at other times they were "collateral damage" - to use an ugly euphemism coined by NATO during its 1999 intervention against Yugoslavia. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Vietnam to Pol Pot's Cambodia to Iran-Iraq to Afghanistan to Liberia to Sierra Leone to Rwanda to Burundi to Colombia to Iraq again... it is the civilians who suffered the most and among them, women and childrenas the most vulnerable ones. (excerpt)
Development. 2006 Sep; 49(3):82-86.Although a natural disaster does not differentiate between people, societal norms do. According to a study carried out by Oxfam International, the number of women who died in the tsunami of December 2004 considerably outnumbered men. In many places, the ratio between female and male deaths was 3:1.This difference can be directly attributed to gender roles. In many fishing villages, most of the men were not at home when the wave reached the coast. They were out with their boats and were not hit with the same brute force as the people who were staying on the coast. Or they were working in the fields and could escape climbing up trees. In contrast, women mostly stayed inside or around their houses and the first thing they did when the wave reached was to try to save the lives of children and old people. Life-saving skills such as swimming or climbing up a tree are not deemed seemly for girls. Traditional clothing such as the 'Kain Sarong' worn in Aceh limits the freedom of movement of women and girls. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006.  p.Even in times of peace, it is usually women who look after children, the sick, the injured and the elderly. When emergencies strike, this burden of care can multiply. In many cases, women become the sole providers and caretakers for their households, and sometimes the families of others -- especially when men have been killed, injured or must leave their communities to fight or rebuild. During crisis and in refugee situations, women and girls become the ultimate humanitarian workers. They obtain food and fuel for their families, even when it is unsafe to do so. They are responsible for water collection, even when water systems have been destroyed and alternate sources are far away. They help to organize or rebuild schools. They protect the vulnerable and care for sick and disabled family members and neighbours. Women are also likely to take on additional tasks, including construction and other physical labour, and activities to generate income for their families. In many conflict zones, women's actions also help to bring about and maintain peace. Women care for orphaned children who might otherwise become combatants. They organize grass-roots campaigns, sometimes across borders, to call for an end to fighting. When the situation stabilizes, women work together to mend their torn communities. They help rebuild, restore traditions and customs, and repair relationships -- all while providing care for the next generation. (excerpt)