Some are the result of struggles for self-determination and for recognition of rights of minorities, while others are struggles over control of land and natural resources. Many states also confront internal conflicts and communal riots. In such an environment there is a climate in which growing numbers of people find themselves stripped of their rights. These include their SRHR.
When health facilities are destroyed and the social networks that provide some degree of support for women are eroded, this heightens the vulnerability of women affected by conflict to coercion, discrimination and violence. While women’s active responses to their situation in the face of conflict bear testimony to creative interventions in peace-building and in rebuilding shattered communities, the impact of conflict on their reproductive and sexual lives can have life-threatening and often long-term consequences.
In a conflict situation, intensified levels of insecurity on roads and lack of transport may limit women’s mobility and therefore their access to healthcare. Ground realities that point out the many ways in which women’s healthcare needs are ignored and neglected in emergency and conflict situations bear out our contention that it is not enough to have institutional structures and legal frameworks supporting the provision of reproductive and sexual health services to women in conflict situations.