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"Women and War": Photographic exhibition at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

03-12-2003 News Release 03/03

ICRC (Geneva) – "Srebrenica: a woman searching for her missing husband and sons long after the war is over." "Baghdad: two young girls return home from a drinking-water distribution point set up by the ICRC." "Kigali: family reunion between a mother and her child after years of separation following the genocide."

These are among the descriptions accompanying images in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) photographic exhibition on women and war, launched on 3 December at the International Conference Centre Geneva. The photographs show women from around the world who have suffered because of armed conflict – women who are courageously coping with its impact.

The exhibition is under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, who also opened an exhibition of photographs on woman and war earlier this year in Beirut and on 25 November 2002 in Amman. The occasion was the launch of the Arabic language version of the ICRC publication, Women Facing War , a study on the impact of armed conflict on women. Both the study and the photographic display show that women experience war in a multitude of ways. Women are sometimes combatants, though the majority live through armed conflict as civilians, retaining their dignity and humanity whatever the circumstances.

This photographic exhibition is taking place at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the theme of which is " Protecting Human Dignity.” Four years ago, at the last International Conference, the ICRC pledged to promote the respect that must be accorded to women and girls and to ensure better assessment of their needs throughout its activities, placing particular emphasis on the prohibition of all forms of sexual violence. This exhibition is a vivid expression of the ICRC's continued commitment to raising awareness of the situation of women affected by armed conflict, and to better assessing and addressing their needs.

The ICRC will continue to emphasize the protection to which women and girls are entitled, maintaining the commitment made four years ago at the 27th International Conference and reinvigorated this year through such events as this photographic exhibition, which bears witness to the suffering, needs, resilience and essential dignity of women facing war.

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 For further information, please contact:  

 Jemini Pandya, International Federation, Geneva, tel. ++41 79 217 33 74  

 Ian Piper, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 20 63, ++41 79 217 32 16, or ++41 79 203 43 38  

 Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 22 82, or ++41 79 217 32 80  


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