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New Social Compact

Parallel Track on Developmental issues: Western China and Southern Sudan

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In 2005, a girl named Rashida was born in Dingxi, a poor region in northwestern China. Dingxi has long been one of the most poverty-stricken regions in Gansu province, and China as a whole. The region’s economy is based on the agricultural and natural resource industries. The area hosts three hundred plus Chinese medicinal plants and herbs that are exported along with dried exports such as walnuts and wild apricots.  Despite her family’s poverty, she grew up with a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity about the world. However, she does not yet know how many difficulties she would face as she grew up. Rashida’s brother was not asked to do farm work like Rashida but has been fully supported by the family to go to school. By contrast, the family was opposed to Rashida completing her education, and encouraged her to drop out of school as soon as possible to help the family to make ends meet. This transition to a place of work often results in other forms of discrimination in that context.

In the short years that Rashida did attend school, it was not easy. The teacher often used violence to solve the problem, leading to the intimidation of classmates. She would often be bullied by the boys. Moreover, relatives in the family advised Rashida not to continue studying, saying that girls do not need to study so much; they just need to marry. The family’s lack of support for her, teachers who demonstrated preference in educating males, and the local community discrimination against women made her a slave in this poor mountainous region. Her only recourse was to get married and have children at the age of fifteen or sixteen years old.

    This story about Rashida illustrates the challenges that many women continue to face in poor areas in different regions of the world today. These challenges include family, bullying at school, and discrimination in work. There is tremendous pressure for women only to remain in school until marrying age, which is usually about fifteen or sixteen years old. Rashida’s story is not representative of northwest China only, but also illustrates the challenges for many young women in rural settings throughout the world.  For example, young girls are forced to drop out of school as they reach the age for marriage, bullied by boys and even teachers at school, and discriminated against for pregnancy in the workplace.

    With the rapid development of society, more people are becoming aware of the issue of gender inequality in regions such as western China and southern Sudan. However, in the poor rural areas of western China in thetwenty-first century, many women are still unable to receive the education they deserve due to lack of educational resources and gender discrimination. Women in South Sudan face the same problem in many cases. Lack of education for women in both regions is a crucial issue that needs to be fixed as the society keeps developing quickly. Whether a woman is educated or not is important for the whole family, because studies show that a well-educated woman can impact her children and the whole family since she is the principal provider of care that the child needs as the child grows up. According to a case study on the Impact of Educated Mother on Academic Achievement, “Academic performance of highly educated mother’s children is better than those whose mothers are not well educated. The evidence shows that 87% children, whose mothers are educated, are academically successful while the ratio of academically unsuccessful ratio was only 13 percent.”[1] Therefore, educating women is a problem that needs to be noticed and solved in order to make the society better. In this paper, barriers that post challenges for women to receive education will be discussed along several different avenues. My paper will examine the challenges of discrimination and bias that women are often presented within their family, school and finally the workplace.  Furthermore, this paper will compare the problem of lacking education for women in western China and southern Sudan.


    The problems of lacking education that women face in western China stems from the family dynamic within the traditional Chinese culture where males carried the honor of the family name and were seen as the core of the family. For this reason, women were viewed as secondary and often looked over or unwanted. This mentality of thinking towards females is ingrained in Chinese culture, especially in western China, where the traditional folk atmosphere is stronger than that in the eastern China. For example, some Chinese rural areas have such a custom that women are not allowed to eat at the table, they can only squat or sit in the kitchen to eat. Such customs have lasted for thousands of years.

    Historically, a woman’s role in the family dynamic was one of servitude. There were extremely strict doctrines in place, doctrine established in the Confucian era, that clearly divided not only the role between the man and woman but the hierarchy of importance between the two. Confucianism established a patriarchy in which women held no roles of authority and were powerless against women. Within Confucian literature, called The Analects, the five relationships are stressed which are father-child, ruler-subject, husband-wife, elder-brother -younger brother and friend-friend.  Males were deemed the prize. If a woman could not give birth to a male, she was seen as damaged. (Le, 2019) It was the expectation that women were to be subordinate to men. Daughters were expected to be subordinate to their fathers. Wives were expected to be subordinate to their husbands. From youth, girls were trained for their role of wifehood. Education was not anticipated nor was it a requirement. The role of the woman was to remain at home in service to her husband and family. Her desire was to be pleasing only unto her husband. Therefore, the advancement of self was rejected and not embraced.

    In the current generation within rural areas in western China, these same teachings that have been taught from generation to generation have remained. The idea of young women that are ambitious for an educated life is dismissed. This is in stark contrast to urban areas in which young girls have more opportunity. Confucianism plays a weaker role in rural areas than in cities, because in the past few decades, China has experienced urbanization, a large number of infrastructure construction and the development of the real estate market have attracted rural young people to work in cities, leaving only the elderly and children with low education level in rural areas. These old people have experienced the era of the cultural revolution, resulting in the low level of education. Moreover, the reason behind the division in thinking is because wealthier families that have resources that enable girls to attend school will give the opportunity. Rural areas are poor and without resources that will extend educational tools to girls. As a result, families will opt to invest in male children.

    In China, family is the foundation of society. It is the idea that families are to have a collective identity which is filtered through one person, the head of household, the male. The advancement and interest of the family overwhelmingly takes priority and precedence over individual wants. The parental perception is that girls are devalued. The attitudes towards young women are often discriminatory. Therefore, the lack of education faced by western Chinese women is also influenced by the Chinese concept of family. Education is insisted upon males as they are seen to bring respect and advance the family legacy. The choice to send the male to school over the female is in direct response to the overall societal view of women and their role in the family unit. Although in many of the Chinese urban cities, women may hold positions, there is a wide pay gap which is in direct response to the educational gap between the two sexes. The low educational investment into young women is a norm in Chinese culture. The perspective of females in the workforce also contributes to the low educational investment. Parents understand the politics that plague the Chinese workforce. Women are told that they will only work in certain positions. They will only make a certain amount of money, strictly based on the fact that they are female. According to a survey report on the current situation of Chinese women’s workplace in 2020, the overall salary of working women is 17% lower than that of men. (Ifeng, 2020) Parents have a clear understanding of the treatment of women and choose to place their investment in the male who has a higher rate of success to bring the family financial prosperity. Males are thought to fuel the economic environment where women are thought to stagnate or hinder progress based on their lack of skill. Statistically, the proportion of women in technical posts is generally lower than that of men. Technical jobs seem to be exclusive to men, showing obvious characteristics of occupational gender deviation. Even if men and women work in the same work unit, when women’s educational level, marital status, age, work experience and other personal characteristic variables are the same as men, the possibility of women’s access to power is still significantly lower than men, and the incidence of women’s access to power is only 43.3% of men. (, 2021)

    This is in stark comparison to Chinese women in urban areas. This point demonstrates that women of urban origin still have a certain advantage in access to higher education in comparison with women of rural origin. However, in comparison with women students at private institutions, the difference between urban and rural women students at public institutions is fairly small. At public institutions, aside from the top universities, the difference in urban and rural women’s opportunities to attend school is on average less than 10 percent (Chinese Education and Society, 2010).

    Young Chinese women’s education comes from within the home. Due to the ideology of the role of women to serve, elder women are often noted to train the younger women in becoming good wives and mothers. Young women are not empowered and are ill-advised to form a self-identity outside the role within their homes. Education motivates students to form opinions of how they see themselves in relation to the world around them. Education gives hope and an identity that belongs to oneself. Young Chinese women are not given that opportunity due to the doctrine that they are to become who their family, especially the males, have deemed them to be.

    Young women in rural Sudan, located in the northeastern region of Africa face similar discrepancies. The area is south of the Sahara. The family structure involves immediate and extended family members. The father is the head of household and the official leader. He is responsible for all financial responsibilities. Young women are completely regarded as an afterthought, segregated from male counterparts within village events as well as their homes. Women and men are apart from one another. Young women are viewed as inferior to men, therefore, to hold the same space is to suggest that they are equal. Young women commune in group settings with one another. The role of the woman was that she is to tend to the activities of the children and household. The house is considered her domain. However, the woman’s main purpose was decided by her husband. Her role was to be a servant to her and his subject to his authority. This ideal of a woman’s role was upheld in such a way that most Sudanese women endure female circumcision to ensure that sex was purely enjoyed by the husband. Her complete identity is overshadowed by his perspective of who she is and what she is to become.

    Education is not a requirement for young Sudanese women, The husband is the financial provider which stunts the woman’s potential to obtain financial independence. (Lutaaya, and Grawert, 1999) A woman is thought to have little to no choice which restricts her education, her independence, and her potential to thrive outside her lineage.

    Family, what is to be the symbol of comfort, is a discouraging symbol of tormented doctrine that is a thief to both a Chinese and Sudanese woman’s ability to thrive.

    In the event that a young Chinese girl can attend school to receive an education, we must examine the difficulties of receiving an education in a society that negates a female’s value outside of her home. First, we must understand that in rural China, poverty is overwhelming. Education is not free and comes with its financial burdens on an already strained family income. The young girl who is fortunate to attend, understands her responsibility to not only attend but to also excel and use those learned skills as a tool to assist her family into a more prosperous life.

However, the subculture in schools is not favorable to young girls.  A report in 2016, stated that bullying in rural China was up by 26.10 percent. Although most of the bullying is done to males, because they are the majority, when it occurs to young girls, emotional scars are long-lasting. Young females are often the targets of bullying for a few reasons. The obvious, the family structure that males are preferred to females, perpetuates a superior complex in which Chinese boys unleash hatred of females being in a space that is not made for them. Secondly, girls outperform males in school. Girls are more apt to take schooling more seriously because of the financial burden taken on by their parents.  School is viewed as a privilege; therefore, the majority of females understand the accountability in having a chair in the classroom. In many cases, bullying will lead to depression due to the feelings of isolation. Bullying will also bring about anxiety. However, many of the young women who attend school form a sisterhood or a bond and tend to stick together which helps to combat the effects of bullying (Jung Lee, 2014). Also, because young girls tend to outperform their male counterparts, teachers more than likely pay them extra attention and become more involved in protecting them from experiencing these incidents.

    Although bullying also takes place in rural Sudan, it happens in a very different context. Education remains inaccessible due to the cultural norms in the nation to maintain traditional gender roles. Early-age marriage is dominant in keeping women from receiving an education. 10.7% of women aged 15 to 49 were married before the age of 15, and 38% were married before the age of 18. (Michelsen, 2017)

    Once a young girl is married, her home becomes her priority, and she is under the jurisdiction of her husband. The husbands use financial dependency and physical violence to have their young wives submit to their demands.

    The other form of bullying that takes place in rural villages is that of female circumcision. This is the process of removing the female’s clitoris from her vagina so that she does not experience pleasure during sex. In many villages, this is seen as a rite of passage before a young woman is married. However, it is often used as a tactic by the male to maintain his rule in the home. Most sexual violence occurs in this way. Painful sexual activities are stopped, but less painful forms of sexual contacts and activities are maintained. Exploring alternatives to penile–vaginal intercourse can be beneficial for the woman. However, such flexibility might be limited in some cultures where vaginal penetration is seen as the only acceptable form of sex (Abdulcadir, 2021).

    In many of these villages, these violent rituals and early marriages are not stopped due to the accepted norm that has been passed down through generations.

    In the workforce, Chinese women are adversely affected by marriage and having dependent children. They are more likely than men to experience (involuntary, in particular) job exit to fulfill their roles as wives and mothers and less likely to move up in the career ladder (Guangye, Wu, 2021). As rural China faces economic reform, the culture is still inundated with discrimination against women in the workforce. With the resurfacing of old values and capitalism, women are impacted by a huge wage gap, directly impacted by the inequality of education. Due to the disparities in the distribution of education, women are not given elaborate positions in companies. The hierarchy of the family has also played out in the corporate work culture. Men are dominant controls in the workforce. There are women who are highly educated. They are often overlooked, dismissed, and viewed passively when it comes to top-tier promotions and positions.

    Due to the high rate of poverty in rural China, both the man and woman in the home are workers. However, the woman is expected to leave her position if she becomes pregnant to focus on raising the children. Society does not embrace the woman who can have a career and raise a family.

    The workforce in Sudan is very similar in that the women make up 57 percent. Women hold jobs both in the home and in the field if approved by her husband. However, the family home remains the focus in the many villages. Women tend to lean towards more social roles than labor roles simply because it is more accepted in the family unit.

    What would be the solution to the inequality of women in these areas? The easy answer is for men to view women as the equal or at the very least as human. This answer is complex and layered. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UHDR), the root document from which subsequent international human rights treaties have grown, reflects an integrated conception of human rights. The UHDR declares that everyone has civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and security of the person, to freedom from slavery to freedom from torture, and to freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile. It also declares the right of everyone to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association with others. It sets out the democratic rights to take part in the conduct of public affairs, to vote, and to be elected in genuine periodic elections (Day, 2000).  Again, the simple answer is to have males view women as equals. Women should have the ability to have reproductive rights, voting rights, equal pay, etc. Yet, the idea is more psychological than it is logical. In human interaction, there is one that must be superior. The perspective of women must change. The way in which inequality is resolved is by giving all females access to education. Education is power. When a female has knowledge, she can create a life for herself, her family and contribute to the advancement of this world. Allow women platforms of power and influence. Women are intelligent beings. Women are great nurturers because they are intuitive. In allowing women to have platforms, her voice can reach hearts and provoke thought. The biggest solution to end gender inequality is to stop violence against women. Death should not meet a woman because she wants an education or become her own person. Violence is not a vehicle to keep a woman in submissive harmful positions. Violence against women should be condemned and be subjected to dire consequences.


    In conclusion, Chinese and Sudanese women are facing an extreme crisis. In the year of 2021, these women are enduring horrific torture physically, emotionally, and mentally just t be seen as human. The basic right to have an education without ridicule is what most desire. The idea that these women would like to have the ability to be a rev-thinking individual outside of family and culture. The horror in having to suppress the truth of who you are and what you need for yourself because you are not seen is incomprehensible. The social and cultural norms are creating generations that are suffocated by the ideologies of their ancestors. Freedom is a right that should not have to be bargained for. Inequality hinders growth. It stagnates progression and it stops the production of creativity in a society. The contribution of women is vast and shouldn’t be denied or taken for granted. There is power in the voice of a woman.

Cheng Huang of the Canadian Branksome Hall (RoK, Asia branch) is a junior scholar specializing in developmental issues. Topping in her professional interests are the field and hermeneutical studies on rural development, empowerment of vulnerable categories (women and children) as well as the creative economies of the indigenous.

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New Social Compact

Robotization and the Future of Humanity

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Robotization is the final form of capitalist degeneration of humanity. Capitalism does not transform robots into humans, but humans into robots. Instead of human evolution having a historical character, it takes on a technocratic character. Capitalism destroys man’s personality and reduces him to a functional component of technical processes through which capitalism destroys the human and living world. Marx’s concept of “reification” (Verdinglichung) points to the prevailing tendency of world development. Capitalism abolishes man as a human and natural being and turns him into technical means for the development of capitalism.

     Robots are a projection of the capitalistically degenerated humanity. Capitalism abolishes interpersonal relationships and, in doing so, abolishes man as social being. Society becomes a crowd of atomized individuals reduced to a labor-consumer mass. People lose the need for human connection. Man no longer seeks humanity in another man, but in virtual worlds, pets and technological devices. Robots become a substitute for human beings.

     Measured by capitalist criteria, one of the most significant advantages of robots over humans is that robots, as technical “beings,” can constantly be improved based on the productivist efficiency that has a profitable character. The rate of capital turnover is the driving force behind the robotization of humans and the technization of the world. In the end, the process of robotization comes down to the development of capitalism, which involves the increasingly intensive destruction of man as a human and life-creating being. Robotization indicates that there are no limits to the capitalist future.

      This is especially significant when it comes to the “conquest of space.” The technocratic approach to space and to the cosmic future of humanity is conditioned by a dehumanized technocratic mind. Man is abolished as a historical being, and thereby as a unique and irreplaceable cosmic being. Rather than endeavoring to create a humane cosmos, man is instead, through technical means, abolished as a human and natural being and reduced to cosmic processes that have an energetic and mechanical character.

      Robots are an organic part of the technical world, and their characteristics are conditioned by the nature of capitalism. They are mass-produced and, as such, disposable commodities. Robots are not social or historical beings; they lack emotions, mind, libertarian dignity, cultural and national self-awareness, moral criteria, rights, they don’t get sick, they work 24 hours a day as programmed, they are replaceable, and can be instantly turned off and destroyed…

      Capitalists do not strive to create robots that are increasingly similar to humans in their qualities but rather humans who are increasingly similar to robots. Humans are not the role models for robots; robots are the role models for humans. Through the spectacular model of robots, capitalist propaganda machinery imposes on people the image of the capitalist man of the future. In reality, robots are surrogates of humans turned by capitalism into ideal slaves.

      Sport is an area where the robotization of humans in the existing world has reached its highest level. The human body has become a technical means to achieve records, and the “quest for records” is based on a productivistic fanaticism with a technical and destructive character. This is what defines the personality of an athlete, as well as their relation to the world and the future.

      Considering that capitalism is increasingly destroying the living conditions in which man as a natural and human being can survive, the distinctive ability of robots to function in environments that are deadly to humans becomes of paramount importance. The destruction of the living environment devalues man as a human and natural being and further encourages the process of robotization.

      Robotization suggests that capitalism can survive without humans. In the capitalistically degenerated world, humanity is not just superfluous; it has become an impediment to “progress.” With the development of consumer society, which means capitalism’s becoming a totalitarian order of destruction, capitalism has come to the final reckoning with the living world and with man as a human and natural being. Man has become an “obsolete being” that is to conclude his cosmic odyssey in the capitalist landfill.

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New Social Compact

Talking tolerance in polarised societies

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EU research projects provide fresh insights into what it takes for communities to accept different religious and world views.


Ann Trappers harnessed a shock in her native Belgium to help heal social wounds across Europe. 

After Islamic terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016 left 35 people – including three suicide bombers – dead and more than 300 injured, Trappers and her colleagues at a non-governmental organisation called Foyer sought to rebuild community trust and cohesion. 

No taboos

They used the NGO’s long-established youth centre in the religiously and ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Molenbeek. Their experience fed into a research initiative that received EU funding to explore and foster religious tolerance in eight European countries. 

‘One of the ways in which we worked to counter radicalisation was to ensure it didn’t become a taboo subject,’ said Trappers, programme coordinator at Foyer. ‘We wanted young people to be able to talk about it freely and safely in the setting of the youth centre.’

Concerns about growing polarisation in Europe have pushed the issue up the EU political agenda. 

The portfolio of a vice-president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, includes dialogue with churches as well as religious associations and communities. The portfolio is called “Promoting our European Way of Life”. 

The EU is also putting its weight behind various initiatives – including the Radicalisation Awareness Network – aimed at helping communities in Europe live harmoniously together. 

The EU project in which Trappers was involved ran from May 2018 through October 2022 and was called RETOPEA. It brought together academic organisations from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain as well as non-EU countries North Macedonia and the UK. 

The project explored ways in which religion is regarded in the educational, professional and social realms. It also examined how peaceful religious coexistence has been established over history. 

Past and present

The idea was to use insights gained from the past to inform thinking about religious tolerance today. 

‘It’s not often you get the opportunity as a historian to make your work relevant,’ said Patrick Pasture, who coordinated RETOPEA and is a professor of modernity and society at Catholic University Leuven in Belgium. 

The project delved into more than 400 primary source extracts from historical peace treaties, contemporary news reports and cultural snippets. 

Based on these materials, teenagers from Foyer and other youth associations in each of the participating countries joined workshops to create their own video blog – or “vlog” – about religious tolerance and coexistence. 

The vlogs, available on the RETOPEA website, include interviews with passersby, drawings and other creative work.

Pasture said the act of working together took the focus away from the participants’ differences.

‘The most important thing will always be that people have to learn to talk – to refrain from immediately judging,’ he said. 

Spreading the word

Pasture was struck by the number of students who were unaware of the religious beliefs of classmates and by how open they were to talking about the issue. 

He said most participants were upset about the divisiveness of contemporary discussions of religion and ‘hated’ the rise of polarisation.

Around a year after RETOPEA wrapped up, the results and materials collected are informing actions by interfaith organisations, governmental bodies and European teacher associations. 

The project team is regularly invited to make presentations at teaching workshops and seminars in the EU and beyond – places ranging from Austria and Italy to Jordan and Wales. 

And the European Association of History Educators – established in 1992 to build educational bridges on the continent following the collapse of communism in eastern Europe – includes the RETOPEA materials on its website. 

Middle ground

Another EU-funded research project looked specifically at the notion of tolerance – how it feels for people to push themselves to accept “others” and what it feels like to be “tolerated.” The research relied mainly on questionnaires and online experiments. 

‘People have their own opinions and their own beliefs and we can’t just expect them to give them up and consider everything of equal value,’ said Maykel Verkuyten, who led the initiative and is a professor in interdisciplinary social science at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. 

Called InTo for Intergroup Toleration, the project ran for five years through September 2022.

In conducting studies in the Netherlands and Germany, Verkuyten and his team were pleasantly surprised to find that a clear majority of people regarded tolerance as an important societal value. 

He said that most respondents agreed with, for example, the following two presented statements: “I accept it when other people do things that I wholeheartedly disapprove of” and “Everyone is allowed to live as he or she wants, even if it is at odds with what I think is good and right”.

On a cautionary note, the team also found that it’s far easier to move people towards greater intolerance than it is to make them more tolerant. 

Verkuyten is driven by an interest in the middle ground of the whole subject – where space exists for differing views without any desire either to crush or to celebrate them. 

He said this zone must be promoted through civics courses, human-rights lessons and other educational initiatives to help ensure the health of democracies and multicultural societies. 

‘There is something in between being very negative, discriminatory, and fully embracing all diversity,’ Verkuyten said. ‘That’s essential for a functioning liberal democracy and indispensable for a culturally diverse society.’

Research in this article was funded by the EU via the European Research Council (ERC). This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.

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New Social Compact

Women’s Health Security: Threats for Women in Refugee Camps

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A young Rohingya girl holds her brother outside a youth club in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. © UNHCR/Vincent Tremeau

Women’s Health Issues

Natural disasters and socio-political conflicts in a country are events that can disrupt people’s lives and encourage the flow of refugees. Refugees are people who have to leave their home areas for their safety or survival. A refugee’s home area can be a country, state, or territory. most refugee law is based on a 1951 United Nations document, the Convention, relating to the status of refugees. The 1951 Convention was created to deal with the large number of people displaced by World War II. (National Geographic, 2023).

In these situations, women and girls do not have access to basic materials, such as pads, clothes, and underwear, needed to regulate monthly blood flow. As the number of refugee women  increases,  health  problems  are  prevalent  due  to  the  lack  of  access  to women’s production health services throughout the refugee camps, even though women need a private space to change clothes, breastfeed, or rest. This high refugee population requires more than just basic care, including antenatal care, postnatal care, hygiene care, and care during menstruation, which is a widespread problem for women around the world. In the case of Rohingya refugee women, they mostly use natural materials such as mud, leaves, dung, or animal skins to regulate their menstrual flow. In addition, lack of access to water and private latrines and increased open defecation put women and children at greater risk of disease. therefore, this paper aims to discuss the constraints on vital hygiene practices that pose a health threat to women in refugee camps (Kashfi Pandit, 2022).

Syrian refugees often report high rates of gynecological problems, including menstrual irregularities,  reproductive  tract  infections,  severe  pelvic  pain,  and dysmenorrhea. Married Syrian  refugee  women  living  outside  refugee  camps  particularly  suffer  from micronutrient deficiencies, sexually transmitted infections, and mental health symptoms. In addition to the impact on physical health, women also have a significant impact on mental health due to the pressures of living as refugees, such as the lack of opportunities to earn a living, substandard living conditions, lack of access to food and transportation, the possibility of having to adapt significantly in bearing additional social burdens to ensure the care of their children (SAMS Foundation, 2019).

In 2017, Rohingya refugees also caught the attention of the public in large numbers, with more than 700,000 Rohingya people entering Bangladesh. With this influx of refugees, the condition of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is greatly affected. SRH issues in Rohingya women and girls include increased risk of morbidity, mortality, and gender-based sexual violence, higher risk  of sexually transmitted diseases causing unwanted pregnancies, and the potential for unsafe abortion and its complications. The rape of women in refugee camps violates the sexual and reproductive health rights of adolescents, the non-use of contraceptives can increase their population and allow the transmission of HIV among them, but the absence of a good sanitation system and hygienic environment causes women to suffer (Semonti Jannat, 2022).

Similar to Syrian refugees, Rohingya refugee women and girls also urgently need sexual and reproductive  health  services,  including  antenatal  care,  delivery assistance, postnatal care, family planning services, menstrual health, safe abortion, and prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. As many as 85 percent of refugees still do not have access to latrines, which can lead to outbreaks of communicable diseases among refugees (Karin et al., 2020). The lack of gender-segregated latrines and hygiene means that women in refugee camps must walk to the forest in the dark, leaving them vulnerable to harassment, violence, and even attacks from wild animals. (Semonti Jannat, 2022).

Health Security

Health security is a state of freedom from disease and infection. Health is an essential component of human development and individual well-being and is recognized at the global level as a basic need if people are to achieve an optimal quality of life. Basically, human development and individual well-being cannot be achieved if the person is not adequately protected from threats and does not feel safe. Therefore, health security and human security are closely interconnected (WHO, 2002). In the case study of women’s health in refugee camps, it is clear that women and girls feel unsafe and have their health compromised. Thus, international assistance is needed to address women’s health issues in refugee camps because these refugees have difficulty getting adequate health facilities, causing insecurity to increase, and people find it difficult to take the initiative to protect themselves.

Contribution of International Organizations

In the case of Syrian refugees, there is a government organization called the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which is a global medical aid organization that is at the forefront of crisis relief in Syria and surrounding areas to save lives for every patient in need. In 2016, SAMS supported 66 Syrian reproductive health centers, helping deliver nearly 40,000 babies and providing a quarter of a million reproductive health services. In 2017, SAMS also provided 457,043  reproductive health services in Syria and provided reproductive health training to communities. In Lebanon, the organization supports women’s health services through a specialized  Obgyn  mission,  as  well  as  opening  mental  health  and  psychosocial  services focused on helping mothers and supporting healthy parenting practices, treating anxiety disorders and speech disorders in children, and addressing the psychological wounds of conflict victims. SAMS reaches out to several countries, including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Kurdistan (Society et al., 2023).

In the case of Rohingya refugees, there are also non-governmental organizations that address similar  issues,  namely  the  Bangladesh  American  Society  of  Muslim  Aid  for  Humanity (BASMAH), an organization based in the United States dedicated to providing assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. BASMAH has established health clinics to serve Rohingya refugees located in Bangladesh due to the lack of hygienic and sanitary quality of their living quarters, which are highly susceptible to diseases. Every day, hundreds of Rohingya patients, consisting of women, girls, the elderly, and men, also receive free services, free medicines, emergency  services,  and other health consultations. About 1.3 million Rohingya refugees, consisting of 75% women and children in a day there, are 300 patients receiving health services from doctors under BASMAH. Since 2017, BASMAH has been working directly in the camp and creating programs to help refugees. These programs include clean water, a learning center, an education project, medical care, empowering women, orphans & helpless children, dental care service, winter project, Qurbani, zakat / sadaqah, Ramadan iftar, feed the hungry, home for the homeless, rohingnya refugee support, skill development center, urgent earthquake relief, eid gifts for children (BASMAH, 2023).

However, women’s health problems in refugee camps still occur, and these organizations have not reached all refugees in the world. They only serve Syria, Bangladesh, and surrounding areas. But, in Africa it has not been equally assisted. The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified that there were 46 attacks on health workers that killed eight people, and health facilities were also looted and used by armed forces. The incident caused refugees in the African region to not get help. Thus, the issue of women’s health is still a problem and has not been resolved until now (Renewal, 2023).

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