Reproductive, Sexual Health Services Access Essential For Protection, Empowerment Of Refugee Women, Girls

TIME: Ashley Judd: We Can’t Ignore Refugees’ Sexual Health
Ashley Judd, actress and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

“…If ever there was a time girls and women need to know how to regulate their fertility, and be empowered to make thoughtful choices about their family size, it is when they’re on the run from armed conflict. … [W]hile girls and women always need to be able to prevent and address sex’s unrelated facsimile, gender-based violence, they especially need to, and cannot, as refugees. … Working with partners on the ground, UNFPA delivers essential services that provide for and protect refugees, and help them begin to increase their self-reliance. The benefits to both refugees and host communities are massive. Refugees who can plan and space births; access pre- and post-natal care; learn how to disrupt and prevent gender-based violence; [and] end harmful practices, such as child marriage and low school attendance amongst girls, may become more empowered and self-confident, and can in turn meaningfully contribute to host communities…” (6/15).