Women of the week: Sudan hospital raids leave thousands of women and girls without medical care

Attack on maternity ward in Sudan

At least 28 hospitals have been attacked in Sudan since the armed conflict erupted on April 15, including many maternity hospitals in Khartoum. This has left tens of thousands of women without access to maternal and child health services and other forms of medical care. “In Khartoum alone, there are 219,000 pregnant women, of whom it is estimated that 24,000 will need to give birth within the next three months. There are so many women who have to give birth,” said Laila Baker, UN Regional Director for Arab States. Only 16% of Khartoum’s hospitals are fully functional, and many doctors and nurses are unable to travel to provide telemedicine services due to the fighting. Moreover, as the conflict progresses, protection services are undermined, thousands are displaced from their homes, and the risks of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse are increasing. “We hope that the international community will support both financially and materially the United Nations so that aid reaches those most in need,” says Baker.

First female official of the Men’s Rugby World Cup

Ireland’s Joy Neville has been elected to the refereeing committee for the men’s Rugby World Cup for the first time. Neville was also named one of seven Television Match Officials (TMOs) who provide information to help umpires make accurate decisions. After refereeing the 2017 Women’s World Cup final, she will become the first female TMO in a top-level men’s Test match in 2021. There will be a total of 26 match officials: 12 referees, 7 assistant referees, and 7 TMOs. Representing 9 countries. She will go down in history as the first woman to referee the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. The next men’s rugby tournament will be held in France in September and October.

Female prisoners during hunger strike in Baghdad



maternal and child health


demonstration and protest

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