MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who ...
Feb 12, 2013

Your support brings emergency aid to Gaza!

Thanks to your support, MADRE was able to send two disbursements of funds to our local partners in Gaza, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), so that they could deliver emergency care to hundreds of injured civilians, particularly women and children. Our partners recently sent us a letter thanking us for your support and highlighting the important work that it helped to accomplish. We’d like to share some of those updates now.

In Gaza, PMRS operates four clinics, four mobile clinics, two physiotherapy centers, one assistive device center, and individual relief services. During the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, all PMRS centers and teams were equipped to offer emergency health services and disburse medication. Their local positioning and know-how particularly equipped them to deliver emergency care to vulnerable neighborhoods in Gaza where the need is greatest. We also learned that PMRS held psychosocial support sessions for children traumatized by the recent violence. Sessions were held in schools and activities included therapeutic games and coloring.

Thank you for your support of this important, life-saving work!

Feb 5, 2013

Update from OWFI

We recently received news from Yanar Mohammad, director of our partner organization OWFI. Since our last update, she informed us that the shelters have been working quite well. They continue to provide essential services to many women who are at risk, fleeing violent situations at home or trying to escape a life of prostitution and trafficking.

OWFI’s staff members are working hard to provide a safe space for the women and to help them rebuild their lives. Medical and counseling services are essential to the shelter residents’ well-being. The shelter staff accompanies the residents to hospital visits, and maintains a 24-hour hotline to provide counseling and services to people in danger or crisis. The staff members go far and beyond to guarantee that they can provide emergency assistance when it is necessary. Medical care and counseling have contributed to an improved physical and emotional quality of life for many shelter residents.

Residents at the OWFI shelters have the opportunity to regularly engage and share their experiences with people who have lived through similar circumstances. Friendships, understanding, and acceptance develop amongst shelter residents, who come to love and protect one another, to build a coalition and to create an environment of tolerance around one another. Residents emerge from their time with OWFI as activists rather than victims.

There are many positive stories coming out of the OWFI shelters. Two former shelter residents who came to OWFI in 2007 to escape prostitution have returned to help OWFI gather information about women in need in Baghdad brothels. They have assumed new roles as outreach officers, creating a link between the women trapped in the sex-industry and OWFI. More recently, a woman who stayed at the shelter for more than a year has now found a job and is building a new, financially independent life for herself.

OWFI remains in regular contact with her, and other residents who transition out of their shelters, to make sure they are well.

Jan 11, 2013

October Meeting Update

We recently received a message from Midwives for Peace telling us about their most recent meeting. We’d like to share this update with you now.

On October 23, 2012, we met to watch "Freedom for Birth", a film that highlights human rights violations related to childbirth, and calls for the radical reform of childbirth systems around the world. With MADRE’s support, we received permission from the producers of the film to add Arabic subtitles, so that all members of the group could watch and discuss the film, as it relates to our work as midwives.

The film tells the story of Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife who was imprisoned for performing home births in her country. This is particularly relevant as we just received an update from Halla that the Palestinian Ministry of Health has decided to prohibit home births in the West Bank. This will of course influence Halla's ability to continue her work as a home birth midwife, and we pray to hear better news on this issue.
 
The rest of the meeting was spent writing about our personal experiences as members of Midwives for Peace for a chapter in a book being written about different midwifery models worldwide.

Our next meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013. We look forward to sharing more updates with you after this meeting.

 
   

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