‘Gender Equality Will Reduce Wars’
Nico Spanjer, an assistent anesthesist who served with Dutch military forces in Afghanistan, was deployed as part of a surgical team in Kandahar and Uruzgan field hospitals.
Nico: ‘We had a lot of casualties, and it took me a while before I realised that none of the wounded we treated were women. There were only men, while we knew that civilian women were also being wounded. The women were simply neglected and left to bear the pain.’
Coming back to the Netherlands, Nico wanted to do something. After seeing his girlfriend participate in a fundraising run for Mama Cash, he was inspired. Together with Hangana Manawi, an Afghan woman living in the Netherlands, he organised a public lecture in the local library. It was an opportunity for both to share their respective experiences of Afghanistan and raise money for Mama Cash.
Nico says: ‘I am convinced that greater equality between men and women will mean fewer wars. This requires women worldwide to gain control over their own lives. Maybe it will take decades, but it’s the only way.’
The lecture raised 200 euros for Mama Cash.