Over the past several years, as I have watched fights and riots and wars break out all over the Middle East, I’ve been dismayed by how far away peace feels. I have no idea how to stop all the fighting, and there is no way I can determine who should intervene, and what that intervention should look like. But here is what I know: women do not experience good health or poor health in a vacuum; a woman’s health can affect the health of her children, born and unborn, and the health of her entire community. Making sure women have access to health care helps them to be healthy and strong, and strong women help build healthy, safe communities.
I also know that all over the world, women can be found at the center of peace movements, reaching out and forming coalitions that their governments and armies have failed to build. Providing health care to women helps facilitate peaceful change.
This is why the mission of the Delivering Peace delegation is so important. This is why women’s health matters so much. We cannot fix the problems that have led to so much death and suffering, but we can help ensure access to health care for the women who are at the center of their families and communities—women who are slowly building bridges for peace. Every woman deserves access to reproductive health care, simply by merit of being a human. But that access does not only affect her…it affects everyone in her life. In these situations that seem so hopeless, there is some good that can be done; this is a way forward.
by Meg Staires