The hallmark image of V-Day is a victim of sexual violence rising from the horror and dehumanization of being targeted to the recovery and empowerment of being a survivor. As millions of people will witness the "risings" this week initiated by playwright and activist Eve Ensler and replicated in film, dance, and other events throughout the world, I want to pay tribute to the courageous experts behind the scenes who are critical to this movement.
As members of the Syrian government, opposition forces, and international actors gather for Geneva II – the latest round of peace negotiations – it is crucial that all parties prioritize the end of systematic violations on medical care and targeted blockades of civilian communities.
2013 hit a low point, bringing about a new and more ferocious wave of targeted attacks on medical personnel and facilities. In an effort to destroy opposition, hide wounds inflicted by government authorities, and intimidate doctors from treating protesters and fighters, medical care -- and those who take an oath to provide it -- has come under a full assault.
“I’m upset – feeling guilty for leaving colleagues working in extreme circumstances in Syria. But I will document the violations. That is my contribution.” - Syrian refugee doctor
The health crisis in Syria has reached alarming proportions, threatening not only the Syrian population, but also its neighbors, and requires an immediate international response.