News release

ICRC launches a new campaign to help the world’s mothers caught in war

Geneva (ICRC) - On the occasion of Mother's Day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launching a new campaign to highlight the courage of women living in countries in conflict as they face and overcome immense challenges.

There are many such challenges during an armed conflict: sexual violence, displacement, and difficulties finding food, shelter, health care and education for themselves and their children. While ensuring their own security, they need to guarantee a safe environment for the family too. Besides these duties, many also play a proactive role post-conflict in peacebuilding and social reconstruction.

In a study entitled "Women and War" published twenty years ago, the ICRC looked at the risks women face and the important role they play during and after crises. Two decades later, these risks and responsibilities haven't changed and the stories they share with ICRC teams are made of the same concerns and struggles.

"It's important to recognize how hard women in countries in conflict try to maintain family life, to provide food and education for their children," said Daniel Littlejohn-Carrillo, Head of Resource Mobilization at the ICRC. "Funds from this new campaign will help us ease the burden by supporting women and families in need."

In northeast Nigeria, eighty per cent of people forced to flee their homes due to conflict are children and women. Aisha Idrisa Jawa is one of them. After her husband was killed by armed men, she had to raise her children alone in a camp for displaced persons. 

Aisha lives with her two youngest daughters for whom she can't help but worry: "What worries me is the future of my children, especially my daughters ... If I weren't with them, what would their lives look like?" says Aisha Idrisa Jawa.

There is much to be concerned about in northeast Nigeria, where the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has jumped from 7.9 million in early 2020 to more than 10.6 million since the COVID-19 outbreak.*

The ICRC supports Aisha and many other mothers in war-torn countries, women whose determination, courage and self-sacrifice carry the hope of future generations.

This new initiative, the One Campaign, is being carried out by the ICRC and partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to highlight the plight of these women and to highlight their important role as pillars of their communities' future.