WOMEN AND CHILDREN “SUFFER MOST” IN REGION’S CONFLICTS

As Mother’s Day is marked in some parts of the world this Sunday (12 May), we consider the struggles facing mothers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and pray for those bearing and raising children in conflict zones and other hard circumstances.

The toll of the war in the Holy Land has been particularly heavy for women and children. According to UN Women, over 10,000 women have been killed, among them an estimated 6,000 mothers, leaving 19,000 children orphaned.[1]

The dire conditions caused by the conflict are making pregnancy and birth extremely dangerous. There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, and every day over 180 women give birth without pain relief. Miscarriages have increased by up to 300 per cent, and 95 per cent of pregnant and breastfeeding women face severe food poverty.[2]

For mothers trying to care for their children and keep them safe during war, life is frightening. When conflict broke out in Sudan last April, SAT-7 filmed the stories of several mothers who had had to flee with their children. One of them, Nadia, said, “My worst fear was not being able to protect my daughters.”

Nadia’s story is sadly all too common in the MENA, where conflict and displacement are affecting millions of people. “The situation in our region is really traumatising, and sadly it is women and children who suffer most,” said Andrea El-Mounayer, SAT-7 KIDS Channel Manager.

SAT-7 is supporting mothers and children in crisis situations with programming that addresses trauma, provides parenting advice, and offers spiritual comfort. Our Viewer Support teams are also on hand to offer prayer and counselling to those in distress.

One mother contacted SAT-7 KIDS to thank the channel for how it is addressing difficult issues, such as war and death, with young viewers. “The subjects you are dealing with are very impressive. As a psychologist, I appreciate how you are addressing such topics, especially in how you are presenting them to the younger generation.”

There are, of course, more everyday challenges for mothers in the MENA, and SAT-7’s programs and social media content help them to navigate a whole range of issues from a biblical perspective. The SAT-7 Parents Arabic-language Facebook page provides advice and support; recent clips have specifically addressed the challenges faced by single mothers and those raising children with autism.

Christian-based parenting advice is clearly needed in the region. Last year SAT-7 TÜRK program Parents Ask was the most watched Turkish program on our video-on-demand and livestreaming platform, SAT-7 PLUS, with 2,321 views.

PLEASE PRAY:

  • For mothers and pregnant women in conflict zones, that the Lord will watch over them and their children, keep them safe and provide for all their needs
  • For peace and healing for families who have had to flee their homes and suffered other traumas
  • For mothers in the MENA facing all kinds of trials, that they will know the Lord’s strength and enabling to rise to every challenge

[1] https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/press-release/2024/04/six-months-into-the-war-on-gaza-over-10000-women-have-been-killed

[2] https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/onslaught-violence-against-women-and-children-gaza-unacceptable-un-experts

 

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