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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-52

Extending Care and Support to the Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Iraq During Humanitarian Emergencies

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication1-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-7438.201231

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Extending Care and Support to the Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Iraq During Humanitarian Emergencies. MAMC J Med Sci 2017;3:51-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Extending Care and Support to the Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Iraq During Humanitarian Emergencies. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jun 4];3:51-2. Available from: https://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2017/3/1/51/201231

Dear Editor,

Gender equality is one of the critical determinants for the development of any society and the growth of a nation.[1] In fact, international stakeholders and welfare agencies have expressed their desire and commitment to attain gender equality, as is evident by its incorporation in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.[1],[2] Even though the concerns regarding gender inequality are prevalent under various circumstances, it manifests itself in a serious form in cases of gender-based violence.[1],[3] This is mainly because of the violation of human rights of the female sex, serious impacts on the health status (physical, mental, and social health) of women and girls, and even causing their death.[2]

Gender-based violence is an extremely common social menace affecting more than one-third of the women and girls in their lifetime mainly because of their partners.[2],[3] Furthermore, the incidence of such events increases enormously in regions that are experiencing some form of humanitarian emergency and there is an interruption in the routine law and order system.[3],[4] This often acts as a precipitating factor for a man to abuse a woman, as they are not only exposed to stress (no vocational opportunities, money constraints, and damage to their properties) because of the ongoing crisis, but also are prejudiced with the belief that nothing can be done to them as there are lacunae in the implementation of routine welfare measures.[1],[2],[4]

As often reported in most of the regions affected by conflicts, women have been subjected to physical abuse, sexual violence, and slavery even in different parts of Iraq.[3],[4],[5] Thousands of people have been internally displaced, and many of them are living in displacement camps with a history of massive loss and horrible episodes of abuse.[5] In fact, even during their migration from one place to another in search of security and safety, women have been abused repeatedly.[4],[5] To respond to these impending challenges, to safeguard the interests of displaced women and to minimize the incidence of domestic violence, especially in conflict settings, the United Nations Population Fund and the government health stakeholders have joined hands to support the women who have somehow escaped from the rebel groups.[5]

In fact, a special center has been established in one of the affected cities to provide specialized care to survivors of all forms of gender-based violence.[5] The services include medical treatment, counseling, legal assistance, and referral services to link these women for additional support.[5],[6] The deployed health staff has been trained to offer culturally sensitive care with an aim to enable them to regain their dignity and achieve long-term healing.[5] The center aims to expand its reach and extend its benefit to all the survivor victims.[5]

In conclusion, gender-based violence is a social evil and affects millions of women in heterogeneous settings. Thus, it is our responsibility to identify each victim and link them with the desired health or welfare measures for a better living.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Working together to accomplish gender equality in health: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:286-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
Heidari S, Moreno CG. Gender-based violence: A barrier to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Reprod Health Matters 2016;24:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Tharp AT, Sherman MD, Bowling U, Townsend BJ. Intimate partner violence between male Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their female partners who seek couples therapy. J Interpers Violence 2016;31:1095-115.  Back to cited text no. 3
Al-Atrushi HH, Al-Tawil NG, Shabila NP, Al-Hadithi TS. Intimate partner violence against women in the Erbil city of the Kurdistan region, Iraq. BMC Womens Health 2013;13:37.  Back to cited text no. 4
UNFPA. Iraq Centre Brings Specialized Care to Gender Violence Survivors; 2016. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/news/iraq-centre-brings-specialized-care-gender-violence-survivors. [Last accessed on 2016 Nov 27].  Back to cited text no. 5
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing universal minimal standards to counter the challenge of gender-based violence in emergencies. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:289-90.  Back to cited text no. 6
  Medknow Journal  

This article has been cited by
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