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Beijing: women in war

06-09-1995 News Release 36

Because women - and children - are all too often the primary non-military victims of conflict, the ICRC has sent a delegation to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women being held in Beijing from 4 to 15 September. In addition to the obvious perils of war, women are especially vulnerable to violence from undisciplined soldiers and in conflicts where the main aim is to exterminate a given ethnic or cultural group.

The ICRC wishes to take this opportunity to remind the international community and in particular the world's States of their obligation under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Additional Protocols to protect every non-combatant from war-related violence.

Despite the suffering they endure, women in times of war have frequently had to shoulder the burden of feeding their families and even take on responsibility for industrial production in their communities.

The ICRC delegation to the Beijing Conference is led by Mrs Renée Guisan, a member of the organization's Committee.