To mark International Women's Day this month, we're highlighting some of the inspiring women who play a vital role in enabling IHP to carry out its work.

Here, we speak to Neda, a staff nurse at a clinic in Gaza.

 

“My role here focuses on family planning and antenatal care, and I usually see around 40 women a day. It’s a conservative community, and in the past there used to be quite a stigma about using contraceptives, but now with the harsh conditions and economic problems people recognise that planning their families can help in being able to financially support them. I like my role very much. I get to listen to people, to hear their stories, and to help them have a healthy family.”

 

How do you deal with and challenge discrimination against women in traditionally conservative communities?

“Sometimes there is an element of social work in my role. A common issue is that a mother-in-law is exerting control over a woman, and doesn’t want her to use contraceptives, putting a desire for grandchildren ahead of the woman’s health. I ask the woman to bring her mother-in-law along to an appointment, or I do a home visit, and I try to persuade her about the value of family planning.

The other issue is awareness around gender-based violence, which is unfortunately very common in Gaza, especially in the current situation. When a husband is unemployed and things seem so hopeless, their frustration can sometimes lead to violence towards their wife, especially when they learn they are going to have another child that they feel they cannot afford to bring into the world. The clinic runs various activities in the community to talk about this issue.”

 

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