Joint side event: "Addressing violence against women and girls in humanitarian contexts in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Health as an entry point."

19 March 2018

United Nations Headquarters, New York

A girl dresses as a bride for a march against child marriage and gender-based violence in Jezzine, Lebanon. © RET Liban
A girl dresses as a bride for a march against child marriage and gender-based violence in Jezzine, Lebanon. © RET Liban

Women and girls living in the Eastern Mediterranean Region face extremely high levels of violence and abuse. Those living in humanitarian crises are even more vulnerable, as families are pushed to the breaking point by displacement, poverty and unrest. A study by UNFPA  and partners, for example, found an alarming rise in child marriages among vulnerable Syrian refugee populations in Lebanon.

Women and girls in the region also face inequities in accessing health services, particularly sexual, reproductive and maternal health care. Yet health care providers are often a first point of contact for women and girls who experience physical abuse or sexual violence. Health services can therefore serve as an important entry point for survivors of violence, helping to direct survivors to appropriate care and support.

This event, organized by UNFPA, the World Health Organization, UN Women and the League of Arab States, will focus on the Essential Services Package, which identifies key services that must be made available to survivors of violence. It will also focus on equipping health systems to response to violence and sensitively address the needs of survivors.

It will be held from 10:00 to 11:15 in Conference Room D of United Nations Headquarters in New York.