“We have a lot to learn from the resilience of women in conflict areas and their realities,” Amujae Leader Umra Omar shared when she spoke during a recent Committed To Good (CTG) webinar on empowering women in conflict-affected areas.
Ms. Omar, the founder of Safari Doctors, a community-based organization working to advance healthcare in rural areas of Kenya, discussed the importance of considering the healthcare needs of women in remote or conflict-affected areas. She noted that in such contexts, delivering everyday services like routine medical checkups can often become complicated due to a lack of resources and infrastructure: “When we talk of a mother that has four or five children, in order to just access a vaccine or to go for a prenatal checkup is a journey,” she said.
Ms. Omar also highlighted the disparity that exists between “how the system is designed, versus the reality of women in conflict areas.” She said that, in these contexts, women and children often do not receive the healthcare they need because they are not involved in formal decision-making processes, and therefore systems have not been designed with their needs in mind.
This issue was what inspired Ms. Omar to start Safari Doctors, which is now in its sixth year of operation and continues to expand. Ms. Omar said she sees the work Safari Doctors is doing as a way of bringing agency back to women: “ a way to ensure that healthcare is collective, especially for the women whose bodies and whose realities are the systems we have in place.”
The ‘Together for Equality’ webinar was part of a CTG series on Women, Peace, and Security that brought together attendees from all over the world in support of UN Women’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). You can learn more about Committed to Good and their upcoming webinars here.