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Astarte Hosts Successful Film Screenings at State Department and the Landmark E Street Theater in Washington D.C.

Following on the heels of a Capitol Hill screening, attended by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Astarte along with members of the RAISE Initiative hosted two successful screenings of Grace Under Fire at State Department and the Landmark E Street Theatre.

The U.S. government inter-agency event, hosted by State Department’s Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, underscored the role of the U.S. government in addressing reproductive health in crisis settings. Remarks were offered by Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, Eric Schwartz; Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affaires, Maria Otero; and USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Susan Reichel. All three emphasized the importance of providing reproductive health in crises.

“This is a difficult film to watch; it forces us to ask ourselves why we are falling short, and how we can do better.”

Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz, State Department Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees

In both the U.S. Government and theater event, 3 esteemed panelists joined us for an indepth discussion of the issue at hand: what are the barriers to make quality reproductive health services available to communities afffected by crisis? The film’s protagonist, Dr. Grace Kodindo, Dr. Boubacar Touré from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Astarte partner Clarence Massaquoi from Liberia answered questions about the use of rape as a tool of war, the challenges in getting reproductive health supplies where they need to be, and ways American communities and the U.S. government could help. Much of the discussion also reflected the need and importance of strengthening local NGOs on the ground. We were happy to see many students in the audience who asked great questions at our theater event.

Thank you to those of you who came out and supported us!

Thanks to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, you can read about and view video from the State Department event here.

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