Women in Conflict Zones

Rape and sexual violence are commonly used as weapons of war. Women and their families living in these war and conflict zones are vulnerable to such violent attacks. Displaced individuals find themselves cut off from both medical and everyday resources, such as food and water. Common trips to fetch water become terrifying journeys where one could risk being raped, tortured, or even killed during times of war.

Together with my fellow classmates, we came up with two suggestions geared towards United States feminist groups that might help to aid these women and their families suffering in areas of conflict. We sought to address the basic necessities within these community that could be immediately addressed and expanded upon to further help women in crisis.

Our first idea was to establish a mobile community organization, similar to a “watch” group, that could walk women and children to and from sources of food and water as well as direct them to established “safe spaces” within their area of conflict. We hope to use social media to connect these citizens through blogs and Twitter, if they are available in these areas. If not, we would operate through safe organizations, such as places of worship, to distribute information on our community.

Our second idea, would be to establish a mobile medical unit that could reach women and their families in areas of conflict. This mobile medical unit would provide needs such as STD testing, rape treatment, pregnancy screenings, birth control, prenatal care and psychiatric treatment for PTSD.

In the hopes that our community would grow both within the area of conflict and the United States feminist organization we would be working with, we would seek to work with embassies in order to establish a demilitarized safe, neutral zone in the area of conflict. We hope to establish onsite grassroots activism as well as work with organizations outside the conflict zone to promote peace and safety for those living in these areas.