Women & armed conflicts and the issue of sexual violence

On September 30, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the EU Institute for Security Studies hosted a colloquium on the theme of "Women and Armed Conflicts and the issue of Sexual Violence".

Mrs Helga Schmid, deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, and Mr Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, addressed the audience of policy-makers, NGO representatives and academics.

"No woman is a victim by definition, but by condition", said Mr Maurer, pointing out that armed conflicts affect women and men differently. Although women are not inherently vulnerable, they frequently face heightened danger in situations of violence, including the increased risk of sexual violence.

Three topics have been discussed at the colloquium: the protection of women in armed conflicts, sexual violence in armed conflicts, and the role of women in peacebuilding processes. In the coming weeks, a report on the colloquium will be published on-line for future reference.

For further information, please contact:
Alexander De Jaeger, ICRC Brussels, tel: +32 2 286 5870