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The Golden Hour

Training First Responders in Mosul

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Finding Independence through Livelihood

At only 25 years old, Hana’a* has already had to demonstrate immense strength and resilience to overcome hardship and insecurity amidst ongoing conflict and acute gender inequality in Iraq. She lives in Fallujah, located in western Iraq’s Anbar governorate. The city’s population suffered considerably under the Islamic State, which took control by force in 2014. …

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Building Leadership, One Stitch at a Time

As a self-taught seamstress and the loving caretaker of her deceased brothers’ children, 41-year-old Sawsan serves as a constant inspiration to those around her. Sawsan* grew up within a large family in Iraq, the daughter of an ambulance driver and a stay-at-home mother. She dropped out of school at the primary level and, at 20 …

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Women’s Self Defense in Lebanon

With rates of gender-based violence (GBV) still staggeringly high in every nation across the globe, it’s easy to feel vulnerable as a woman. A violent attack can come from anywhere at any time; from someone you know intimately or someone you’ve never met. In a country like Lebanon, fragile political dynamics and a massive refugee …

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Vicki Agali – Gender-based Violence Case Worker in South Sudan

An independent country since 2011, South Sudan spiraled into civil war in late 2013. The conflict has created a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in which four million people have been forced from their homes and six million people are facing severe food insecurity. The endless violence and displacement puts women and girls at-risk of violent attacks, …

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Finding Dignity and Healing After Abuse

As a gender-based violence (GBV) case manager for International Medical Corps in Wau, South Sudan, my job is emotionally exhausting and at times dangerous. I run a 24-7 hotline that people can call to confidentially report cases of abuse, including rape and sexual assault. I then respond to those calls, tracking down the survivor and …

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Regaining Courage, Control, and Confidence after Years of Abuse

Samia* and Khaled* married 13 years ago. They were both 23. Samia remembers their first five years of marriage fondly. The couple lived together in Burj Al Barajneh Palestinian camp in Beirut’s southern suburbs and soon had three children, Tareq*, Hani*, and Sara*. Then cracks in their relationship started to emerge. Khaled rarely worked, which …

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Protecting the futures of Afghan refugees in Pakistan

“I considered myself different from many other Afghan refugees here. I thought I was more broad-minded.” A member of International Medical Corps’ gender support group in Afghan refugee village Koga in Pakistan, Mr. Mir Afzal says he has learned a lot from awareness sessions on gender-based violence provided by the organization in the village. “We …

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#FirstResponder Voices: Ina’am Abdulbarri Omar

Last month, Ina’am Abdul Barri, International Medical Corps’ gender-based violence program manager in Baghdad, Iraq, was one of five women chosen out of more than 100 candidates to be recognized by the Iraqi government for outstanding work in promoting women’s rights. She has worked with International Medical Corps since 2009 and today manages a team …

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I Know I’m Not Alone Anymore:

Bishwajyoti* married her first husband when she was 18 years old. They were happy, and she described him as a “clever and hard-working man”, before he suddenly committed suicide. To this day, Bishwajyoti does not know why. “After his death it was very difficult for me to earn a living and take care of my …

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