More than 65 million people are displaced around the world. Most are women and girls.

In humanitarian crises, women and girls are particularly affected by displacement and vulnerable to violence, abuse, and exploitation, often with little protection or recourse.

As a CARE Advocate, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned that displaced women and girls experience an increase in gender-based violence, where at least 1 in 5 women report experiencing sexual violence. And, the number of women and girls forced into early marriages, human trafficking and/or survival sex rises. I’ve learned they experience a heightened risk of maternal mortality, where nearly three-fifths of maternal deaths worldwide occur in countries affected by crises. Women and girls overall suffer from poor access to lifesaving health services.

I’ve learned they little access to education and livelihoods, with girls disproportionately pulled from school and women often unable to access economic opportunities because they have been denied national identification cards. And I have learned these displaced women and girls experience an increase in food shortage and malnutrition. Men and boys often receive priority for food and nutrition. Women and girls often eat last and eat the least.

Simply said, I cannot stand idly by. We cannot stand idly by.

That is why I am asking Congresswoman Carol Miller to cosponsor The Safe from the Start Act (H.R. 4092), a bipartisan bill that addresses gender-based violence in emergencies. It will help local organizations to empower women and girls by providing them with adequate services in times of crisis.

Please support displaced women and girls with this simple piece of legislation. Be an active part of empowering the most marginalized. Change the world one girl at a time.

Eve Marcum-Atkinson

Huntington

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