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South Sudan: actress Ashley Judd, UNFPA repair fistula while helping women speak up

South Sudan

It’s a bold and noble task by Hollywood actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA, Ashley Judd as she begins a campaign to help free oppressed women in South Sudan.

In her first visit to war-torn South Sudan, the actress had a message for survivors of sexual assault in a country where rape is a widespread weapon.

“I see you, I love you and I’m here for you’‘, is her message to see women longing to break free in bondage.

‘‘You are visiting with me in a fistula ward , here in Unity state in South Sudan. Of course South Sudan has been ripped apart by war for years and year. And South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. And UNFPA believes that no woman should die giving life and that women should also have the opportunity to have fistula repaired if they develop fistula. And what we are seeing today, is that UNFPA has flown in two doctors, who are fistula repair surgeons into South Sudan, one from Uganda and the other from Nigeria. And this is what UNFPA’s dollars do’‘, said Hollywood actress and UNFPA’s goodwill ambassador, Ashley Judd.

The Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA also assisted in delivering ten babies with one named after her.

‘’ I have literally just participated in delivering a baby, ten babies were born in this UNFPA international rescue committee clinic last night and while I was here visiting the mothers who were, one getting ready to deliver and two coming back with their 3 day-old infants in order to be vaccinated, a women came staggering in with labor pains. They gloved me up, I put on the apron and I was right there and helped deliver her baby’‘, Judd added.

Sixty-five percent of females in South Sudan experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime, with violence against women twice the global average according to a study released by the International Rescue Committee and the Global Women’s Institute in 2017.

Judd is hoping her service to these women will empower them to find their voice.

She was among the first to come forward last year with allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Since speaking out, Judd has become a prominent face of the #MeToo movement, thus helping women around the world combat sexual abuse and hold their perpetrators to account.

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