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International Women's Day 2018: Women affected by conflict – the role of health professionals

On 2 March 2018, the RCOG celebrated International Women’s Day with an event focusing on ‘Women affected by conflict: the role of health professionals.’

In situations of war, essential health services crumble, underlined by a maternal mortality rate that is 2.5 times higher, on average, in conflict and post-conflict countries.

Women usually don’t start wars, but they do suffer heavily from the consequences. There are millions of women affected by conflict throughout the world and all too frequently they are overlooked. They may be used as a weapon of war, to demonstrate domination or simply displaced as a result of the armed aggression. Their plight has been highlighted more recently, alongside the impact on other communities when large numbers of refugees move to other countries.

The College overall does not currently have experience of working on the ground in areas of conflict. However, we have been approached by doctors involved directly in this work who feel that we may have a role to play as we have educational packages and skills from which they would be able to benefit.

To mark IWD 2018, we engaged with those working in this area to learn from their experience in order to define how the College can make a greater contribution. The aim of this meeting was to consider the problems women face in conflict and post-conflict zones and then describe some of the innovative initiatives being put into place to help. 

Find out more

For more information, visit the UN International Women's Day website.


You can watch videos of the presentations by clicking the headings below:

Professor Lesley Regan, President, RCOG

Professor Mary Ann Lumsden, Senior Vice President, RCOG

The Right to Health
Mr Rajat Khosla, Human Rights Advisor, WHO

Health care of refugee women, a case study for Bangladesh
Professor Fawzia Hossain, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Human Rights Activist

Supporting refugees in the UK
Ms Rose McCarthy, Refugee Council Volunteer Coordinator; NCT expert Practitioner
Ms Brigid McConville, White Ribbon Alliance

Responding to women's health needs in conflict affected populations: The MSF Experience
Dr Benjamin Black

International Women's Day 2018 at the RCOG

International Women's Day 2018 at the RCOG

International Women's Day 2018 at the RCOG