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Women victims of war – New strategies

06-03-2006 News Release 06/03

Geneva (ICRC) – Aiding victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , providing mother-and-child care in remote areas of   Pakistan-administered KashmirYemen , giving courses to female detainees in to help them find their way in society after release – these are examples of the commitment shown by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to carefully assessing and meeting the specific needs of women in all aspects of its work.

In the run-up to International Women's Day, ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger expressed his satisfaction that the organization's strategies and field operations increasingly reflected an awareness of the special problems, the particular vulnerabilities of women. Further progress was needed, he cautioned. " Assessing and meeting these special needs should become a spontaneous, automatic and lasting part of all our work. "

Appropriate action requires a better understanding of what happens to women when they are caught up in armed conflict and of the particular vulnerabilities they face. That is why women's needs should be considered as a separate issue. It is generally vital to use female staff to speak to and work with women who have a low profile in society, far removed from public life. For there is no better way to understand their reality, respond adequately to their needs and otherwise improve their situation.

Coming to the aid of displaced women, giving medical care, helping female amputees to walk again, visiting women detainees and putting them in touch with their loved ones, these are all activities carried out by the ICRC to support the neediest women and to promote the respect to which they are entitled.

 For further information on the subject of women and war,  

 please consult the   Women and War   section  

 or contact  

 Florence Tercier Holst-Roness, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 34 51  

 or the ICRC Media Relations Unit in Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 34 43