Delivering for women in humanitarian crises

“In Afghanistan, women can feel restricted in what they can share on their health and relationships with male doctors, so as a woman, I wanted to help these women, particularly vulnerable women, with no other access.”

Haya, MSI Lady Afghanistan

In times of crises, women have a greater need for sexual and reproductive healthcare. Threats of sexual violence can rise. Women who face uncertainty over their location or livelihood often wish to prevent unintended pregnancy. Yet, despite a continued and intensified need, women’s healthcare is often de-prioritized in humanitarian settings. This leaves women without the ability to control their own bodies or futures when they need it most. Our teams deliver women’s healthcare in these challenging settings to protect vital services.

An Afghan woman clad in burqa holds her child while she walks in to one of Marie Stopes International clinics in Kabul, Afghanistan in January 28, 2013. Photo by Farzana Wahidy
An Afghan woman holds her child while she walks into an MSI clinic.

In Afghanistan, women face challenges in accessing healthcare. They are required to have a male chaperone to leave their homes and cannot receive services delivered by male providers. That’s why MSI Afghanistan has built a team of MSI Ladies. These female providers deliver services to women in the privacy of their homes.

One of these female providers is Haya. A trained midwife, Haya walks from door to door in her community in northern Afghanistan, delivering services and building awareness about women’s healthcare options.

“As a community member, I’m in a good position to talk with husbands and leaders about the services available, addressing any concerns and sharing the benefits for families and communities,” Haya shared.

Access to women’s healthcare is empowering, cost-effective, and potentially life-saving. Bold providers like Haya are making choice possible, even in challenging contexts.

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