In 2016, Zika brought about a public health disaster in Brazil; hundreds of infants born to moms contaminated with the virus had neurological issues, together with microcephaly, a devastating start defect. The authorities’s response to Zika was lackluster: There was little details about the virus and stopping it and scarce help for many who had it. As a end result, myths and worry have been rampant, and longstanding limitations to protected abortion and contraception remained in place. Thankfully, women’s teams have an extended historical past in Brazil, they usually have been nicely poised to take up the cost. IWHC started supporting women’s organizations in Brazil in 1986 and has invested greater than $5 million since then.
Through its Rapid Response funding stream, IWHC was in a position to get a lot wanted assets to a few of these teams to perform this important work. Recently, IWHC’s Jessie Clyde and Shena Cavallo of our Strengthening International Partnerships group, held a digital dialogue to spotlight the significance of donations to the Rapid Response Fund and to share the achievements of our native grantee companions, who have been in a position to counter an pressing menace.
WATCH: The Impact of Rapid Response Funding to Women’s Groups in Brazil
Here are some excerpts from the dialog:
“The Zika epidemic disproportionately affected black and indigenous communities. It was very important to ensure that the women most affected were also the women leading the interventions.”
“While our partners were actually working on the ground, providing information, services, and the kind of support that communities really needed, the Brazilian National Congress was working on a bill that would have increased penalties for women who thought they had Zika and sought an abortion. Feminists had to mobilize very quickly to ensure that Brazilian women were not being punished any more than they were already being punished.”
“This disaster demonstrated the power of the women’s motion in the nation. In some ways the women’s motion was in a position to reply extra shortly and extra comprehensively than the government.”
Photo: Daniele Rodrigues for IWHC
Brazil lately declared the Zika emergency over, however for these dwelling in probably the most at-risk areas, the virus is a continuing menace.
On Thursday, June 2, Friends of IWHC watched Zika, the extremely shifting documentary about 5 younger Brazilian women and the health care professionals struggling to serve them in the center of the Zika epidemic.