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Creation of International Health Awareness Network - 1985

In 1985, Dr. Roshan received an invitation to attend the third UN Women conference in Nairobi. The Conference was to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the UN Decade (1975-1985) for Women with the mandate to measure and overcome obstacles to achieving the Decade’s goals. Issues to be discussed were pay equity, violence against women, landholding, and basic human rights.
She was to attend as a delegate from Medical Women International Association, a non-Government organization affiliated with the United Nations ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council).
She recounts her experience: “As a woman hailing from a Middle Eastern nation, I had lived a life of privilege, yet sheltered existence. And the prospect of venturing alone to an African country for the first time, to partake in a significant international gathering, was both thrilling and intimidating. Alas, with support of my family, I embraced the challenges.”
The opening ceremony, held at the Kenyatta Conference Center, was attended by approximately 12,000 delegates. During one of our excursions to a village, the village leader, a towering and impassioned woman, approached me with a heartfelt question, "Why do you not help us?" Astonished, I questioned her choice, given the array of powerful women present. Her response was profound - she saw in me not just a doctor, but someone who understood their plight, possessed compassion, and held access to influential circles.
Upon returning to my shared room with a prominent activist lawyer, the founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), in America, I shared the exchange with her. In that moment, a seed of possibility was planted, nurtured by our shared vision and determination. Thus, the International Health Awareness Network was born, a testament to the power of collaboration and the transformative potential of compassion-driven action.

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