• Send page

Women and war

International humanitarian law - Women

International humanitarian law aims to prevent and alleviate human suffering in war without discrimination based on sex. But it does recognize that women face specific problems in armed conflict, such as sexual violence and risks to their health. Read full overview


  • Women, armed conflict and international law

    “IHL takes a particular male perspective on armed conflict, as a norm against which to measure equality. In a world where women are not equals of men, and armed conflict impacts upon men and women in a fundamentally different way, a general category of rules that is not inclusive of the reality for women cannot respond to their situation.”

    30-09-2002 | International Review of the Red Cross | Helen Durham

  • Women, human rights and international humanitarian law

    30-09-1998 | International Review of the Red Cross | Judith Gardam

Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine

Selected Publications

  • Addressing the needs of women affected by armed conflict: an ICRC guidance document

    Aimed at staff concerned with the planning and implementation of humanitarian programmes, this document is intended as a means of sharing ICRC's experience with other organisations.

  • Women facing war

    This ICRC study is an extensive reference document on the impact of armed conflict on the lives of women. A thorough analysis of international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law, was carried out as a means to assess the protection afforded to women through these bodies of law.