The Need for Priority Reproductive Health Services for Displaced Iraqi Women and Girls


Chynoweth, Sarah K. 2008. “The Need for Priority Reproductive Health Services for Displaced Iraqi Women and Girls.” Reproductive Health Matters 16 (31): 93–102.

Author: Sarah K Chynoweth


Disregarding reproductive health in situations of conflict or natural disaster has serious consequences, particularly for women and girls affected by the emergency. In an effort to protect the health and save the lives of women and girls in crises, international standards for five priority reproductive health activities that must be implemented at the onset of an emergency have been established for humanitarian actors: humanitarian coordination, prevention of and response to sexual violence, minimisation of HIV transmission, reduction of maternal and neonatal death and disability, and planning for comprehensive reproductive health services. The extent of implementation of these essential activities is explored in this paper in the context of refugees in Jordan fleeing the war in Iraq. Significant gaps in each area exist, particularly coordination and prevention of sexual violence and care for survivors. Recommendations for those responding to this crisis include designating a focal point to coordinate implementation of priority reproductive health services, preventing sexual exploitation and providing clinical care for survivors of sexual violence, providing emergency obstetric care for all refugees, including a 24-hour referral system, ensuring adherence to standards to prevent HIV transmission, making condoms free and available, and planning for comprehensive reproductive health services.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Jordan

Year: 2008

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at