The New York Times: The World’s Modern-Day Lepers: Women with Fistulas

In this article, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes about the suffering fistula brings to women worldwide, and how organizations and strategic initiatives can prioritize women’s rights to save more lives from this devastating condition.

By Nicholas Kristof

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — ONE of the worst things that can happen to a woman or girl around the world is a fistula, an internal injury caused by childbirth (or occasionally by rape) that leaves her incontinent, humiliated and sometimes stinking.

Victims are the lepers of the 21st century, and although the condition is almost entirely preventable, it is suffered by hundreds of thousands of women worldwide.

The condition is invisible because it distastefully involves sex, odor and private body parts, and because victims tend to live in impoverished countries and already have three strikes against them: They’re poor, rural and female, and thus voiceless and marginalized.

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Published March 19, 2016

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