The Islamic State has begun shutting down gynecology clinics in its conquered Syrian capital of Raqqa, according to a report at Foreign Desk News.
Citing information from the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the report says ISIS militants are “trying to restrict the interaction between men and women by keeping these physicians away from their female patients.”
“People expressed their resentment over these steps taken by [Isis] regarding health and medical staff in the city, which already suffers from the lack of female medical staff engaged in these tasks,” said the Observatory.
“A culture of rape, forced marriages for child brides, the persecution of doctors and the exclusive use of medicines for militants have resulted in a crisis for women’s health under Isis’s brutal regime,” writes the UK Independent. “According to activists, Isis has drastically restricted the work of male gynecologists in accordance with its leaders’ belief that men and women should be kept apart at all costs.”
Witnesses said some male doctors threatened with death by ISIS have fled Syria, joining the great migratory wave to Europe.
ISIS might have problems with male doctors treating patients, but it certainly is not shy about letting its fighters explore, and abuse, female anatomy. The Independent reports a surge of miscarriages and STDs at clinics across the region.
“We see girls who are bleeding heavily from their genital area. Some of them don’t know what sex is – they come into the clinic playing with their dolls,” a Libyan doctor said. The Independent cites an ISIS manifesto that declared girls can be legitimately married at the age of nine.