Live chat: addressing violence against female aid workers

From Global development | The Guardian Tue Feb 12 2013, 15:40:51

With One Billion Rising campaign and the Commission on Women, the development community will be focusing on violence against women - but what about the safety of the professionals themselves? Join the debate, Thursday 14 Feb

As campaigners around the world ready themselves for the launch of the One Billion Rising movement on Thursday, recent violent incidents in Pakistan and northern Nigeria have lefty us wondering: is enough being done to protect the women at the frontline?

Why women? With only one week to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and three days to prevent HIV, Aisha Bain at International Rescue Committee explains that women and girls face "increased risks and specific needs".

Further unpicking the relevance for the development community, and referring specifically to the shootings in northern Nigeria, Ana Lukatela, programme specialist with UN Women's peace and security section writes: "These murdered women played a critical role in these UN-sponsored polio vaccination drives. In conservative societies where ordinary women often lack freedom of mobility, it is female health workers that play a desperately needed role in bridging the gap between the private space of the home and the public arena of basic service provision.

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