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UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer highlighted the important role of medical service providers in combatting gender-based violence (GBV), in the annual conference of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.

“Medical service providers are persons of trust and major entry point to women nationally,” Meijer said, “they are a key partner to ending GBV.”

UNFPA was invited for the first time by Qasr Al-Aini University Hospital to participate in the 22nd Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Conference on September 16-17.  

Meijer participated in a plenary session entitled “Women’s Health and Rights: Prospective and Challenges,” alongside Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), and Dr. Nahla Abdel-Tawab, the Population Council Egypt Country Director.

Both Morsy and Frederika agreed on the need to prioritize addressing GBV and investing in multi-sectoral referral between legal, medical and social sectors to offer women comprehensive services.

“It is imperative to pay attention to the needs of adolescent girls and young mothers, and to look beyond their medical and reproductive rights,” Meijer said.

Last year, NCW and UNFPA inaugurated the first Safe Women clinic at the Qasr al-Ainy Hospital – a medical response clinic offering comprehensive services for women subjected to violence.

Since late 2020, three other clinics were inaugurated at the Mansoura, Ain Shams and Assiut university hospitals.

UNFPA works on the capacity building of medical service providers, offering specialized training and services – including Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) kits – through the Safe Women Clinics, the National Coordination Unit, and Anti-Sexual Harassment Units in 24 public universities.

In her keynote speech, Meijer highlighted the successful impact of joint efforts between NCW and other line ministries to establish more Safe Women Clinics to cover all governorates by 2030.