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Published:April 20th, 2006 18:41 EST
Webchat to Discuss International Women's Access to Health Care

Webchat to Discuss International Women's Access to Health Care

By Sarah Huffman

Of the world’s 24 million internally displace persons (IDPs) and 12 million refugees, a large number are women and children. These refugees go without healthcare or have poor healthcare due to their economic status, their lack of education, other social barriers, and distance from proper healthcare facilities or lack thereof.

A USINFO webchat will be held April 28 at 9:00 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) for one hour. This webchat will be hosted by Sarah Martin, a humanitarian and gender affairs advocate with Refugees Internation (, an organization that provides assistance and protection for IDPs worldwide. This webchat is a part of the State Department Bureau of International Information Program’s Democracy Dialogue Series.

Martin is a well traveled and educated woman in the subject of refugees worldwide. She has traveled and conducted missions to many countries, including Sudan, West Africa, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Sri Lanka.
During these missions she focuses on gender issues in peacekeeping, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence. In her studies, she also has researched the impact that reproductive health programs have on social norms in the countries of Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The United States is very involved in helping refugees and IDPs. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2005 on World Refugee Day said
"the commitment of the United States to protecting and assisting refugees
is deep and abiding." The United States in 2005 was the world's largest
donor to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and
Americans have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in additional
funds to other humanitarian organizations, she said.

 To participate in this webchat, please sign up on the
USINFO Webchat registration page
( Please give your
preferred screen name; use of full names is not required.

If you have participated in a USINFO webchat, please use the
same user name and password. You may submit questions in advance to ( or directly
during the webchat.

USINFO accepts questions and comments in advance to and any time during the
program. You may also e-mail ( questions
without registering.

The transcript of this webchat will be available on Webchat Station
(, where information
about upcoming webchats also is available.

The State Department's Democracy Dialogues (,
featuring women's political participation
examines specific issues of democratic governance through webchats,
readings, videos, photos and historical documents.

Source:  Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: