As the world marks the third anniversary of the conflict in Syria this week, Save the Children UK released this short video featuring a young girl living in London and exploring what her life would be like if she lived in a conflict-affected area. The video got us thinking: what would the same video look like for a woman of reproductive age? As we approach the third anniversary of the conflict in Syria, what is being done to meet the needs of these women? Where are we falling short?
In the last 8 months, the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance has risen from 6.8 million to 9.3 million, many of whom are women. Before the conflict, family planning was free in Syria and 58 percent of women used contraception, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). However, from the beginning of the conflict to early 2013, that number dropped by almost 20 percent. Evidence shows that during a crisis, the number of women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy increases but the ability to access reproductive health services decreases.
So what would our video look like? It might start with a woman studying, having fun with her friends and partner, going to the doctor and getting quality reproductive health care. But when conflict breaks out, she’s probably going to have to stop attending school. She might be forced from her home and be subject to sexual violence. She might lose her access to contraception, and face an unwanted pregnancy in the most difficult circumstances. Save the Children’s video ends with the message, “just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” Let’s remember that this message not only applies to children, but to women in conflict-affected areas.
Got an idea for our next video of the week? Leave it in the comments!