Women for women: health care for female refugees

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Charité's Women for women: health care for female refugees

The health care-related needs of refugee women differ greatly from those of refugee men. Examples of such differences include the fact that refugee women are often exposed to gender-specific trauma, and that the lack of childcare makes it harder for them to access health care. Mental health, in addition to sexual and reproductive health, are generally associated with feelings of shame. The aim of this pilot project is to build trust, and to respond to, and be guided by, the specific needs of refugee women.

Fundamental aims
This 18-month project aims to dismantle existing barriers which prevent refugee women from accessing female health and midwifery services in refugee camps and shelters provided by the state government of Berlin. At the same time, the project also hopes to collect robust data on the specific needs of these women and the barriers they encounter. The project uses presentations on female health followed by discussion groups to engage women and build trust; treatment may then be offered if this is judged to be necessary.

In addition to building an urgently-needed aid network, the project represents an opportunity to collect a robust dataset on the current situation, which may result in additional political measures being taken and/or lead to current measures being expanded and implemented in other states.