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Mag humanitaire – Newsletter of the ICRC regional delegation in Dakar

29-08-2012 Field Newsletter

Civilians are the main victims of conflict. Children, the elderly and women are usually the most vulnerable groups. They pay a high price, but they also show an extraordinary ability to overcome hardship and take control of their destinies.

Violence, often including sexual abuse, is changing the lives of women forever, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa and elsewhere. Too often, women have to flee the fighting, taking their children but leaving their property behind, as in Côte d’Ivoire. They get separated from their children. Or live in fear of what has happened to their husbands or sons, as recently in Libya. Sometimes, especially in Casamance, they fall victim to mines.

But it is in precisely these extreme situations that women are getting up, going on, and rebuilding their lives – and those of their families.

Too often these women keep their pain to themselves. They are heard too little, understood too little. This issue of Mag Humanitaire highlights the difficulties they face and their capacity to overcome hardship. And it reiterates the obligation on those involved in conflict to protect civilians, including children, the elderly and women.

The ICRC will continue to help these women regain dignity and hope.

Women in armed conflicts in Africa

  • Central African Republic: being a women in a conflict area
  • Ivory Coast: Amelie and Veronique – a path of exile and fear
  • Senegal: Martine, 39 years old and disabled for life by a landmine
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: the “houses” help female victims of war
  • Women in the armed forces: the examples of Senegal and Niger
  • From Sirte to Agadez: testimony of a Nigerien woman who returned from Libya
  • Women, armed conflict and resilience: the ICRC’s approach
  • Espace Jeanie Waddell-Fournier: a new platform on the web
  • Senegal: ICRC driver Rose evacuates the wounded during pre-election riots in February
  • TABALA: Echoes from elsewhere

Photos

Côte d'Ivoire. Amélie lost everything to conflict and violence. Not once, but twice. Now, she is home again, clearing her cocoa fields for planting. 

Côte d'Ivoire. Amélie lost everything to conflict and violence. Not once, but twice. Now, she is home again, clearing her cocoa fields for planting.
© ICRC / B. Houdijk