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Women and Children

Caught in Conflict


and children face revolving

cycles of conflicts and disasters.
the country typically experiences
annual displacement due to political
conflict or natural disaster.

such natural disasters, along with

protracted armed conflict and
exposure to violence, hinder
attempts to alleviate the effects of
poverty, unsafe water and
inadequate sanitation facilities,
limited health-service delivery and
poorly functioning governance.

Of the total population of 93+

million, 48 million are vulnerable to
conflict or natural disaster, and
170,000 families are typically
displaced by disaster annually.

Displaced families suffer sporadic

disease outbreaks, and under
nutrition is endemic among children.

Prolonged displacement and

continued insecurity mean families
are without income, a push factor for
children to enter hazardous labour


of school buildings, long

distances between schools and
evacuation centres, hidden costs and
loss of important documents are
factors limiting education for
displaced students, causing many
children to drop out.

Violent incidents due to family

feuds, local elections and typhoons
interrupted childrens education in a
number of provinces, particularly
those in northern and central Luzon.
In Maguindanao Province, schooling
for an estimated 14,000 children was
affected in 2010.


by the United Nations in 1974

and went into force the same year
proposed by the United Nations
Economic and Social Council
on the grounds that women and
children are often the victims of wars,
civil unrest, and other emergency
situations that cause them to suffer
"inhuman acts and consequently suffer
serious harm


states that women and

children suffer victimization during
armed conflict due to "suppression,
aggression, colonialism, racism, alien
domination and foreign subjugation"


Declaration specifically prohibits

attacks and bombing of civilian
populations (Article 1) and the use of
chemical and biological weapons on
civilian populations (Article 2).


3 requires states to abide by

the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the
Geneva Convention of 1949.


Declaration also requires countries

to take measures to end "persecution,
torture, punitive measures, degrading
treatment and violence" especially
when they are targeted against women
and children, as well as recognizing
"imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass
arrests, collective punishment,
destruction of dwellings, and forcible
evictions" as criminal acts.


inalienable rights are also

enshrined in the Declaration, such as
access to food, shelter, and medical
care, which are to be provided to
women and children caught in
emergency situations.


the Declaration cites the

binding nature of other international
law instruments, naming the
Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, International
Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, Declaration of the
Rights of the Child.


who remained in their

communities temporarily stopped
going to school for a few days to as
long as over a month
Those displaced stopped going to
school during the period of
displacement, and their schools were
destroyed in the fighting


diets of those who remained in

their communities was reduced,
when their families were prevented
from procuring food
Those displaced had poor diets due
to meager rations in evacuation
centers and collapsed family


manifestations of trauma:
nervousness, sleeplessness, lack of
appetite and others
Anxiousness triggered by sudden
loud noises or seeing fatigue


were accused and

physically attacked and shot at
forced to do errands, guide soldiers,
or spy for them


reveal the capacity for

active involvement in production
work, domestic tasks and cultural
activities in their communities.
Their most commonly expressed
desire was to finish school and help
their families


economic burdens due to less

time working on their farms,
slaughtered animals and destroyed
Heavier domestic tasks and family
Fragmented families

Stress-related illnesses
Complications in pregnancies,

particularly in more stressful and

unhygienic evacuation centers


suggestive comments made

by soldiers or rebels
Alleged fondling of women


are able to bear greatly added

burdens and family responsibilities
Women have the capacity to take
action and overcome the stereotype of
weak and dependent women
Women can mobilize themselves and
their children, coordinate with
peoples organizations, and negotiate
directly with armed groups


recently has it been internationally

recognized that war and conflict affect
women and children differently.
The first UN Security Council resolution
ever to specifically recognize the issue
(Resolution 1325) was adopted in
October 2000.
It advocated increased participation by
women in peace-keeping activities and
recognized the special vulnerability of
women in times of conflict.

Women and children are disproportionately

targeted in contemporary armed conflict and
constitute the majority of all victims, and that
during conflict, women and girls are
vulnerable to all forms of violence, in particular
sexual violence and exploitation, including
torture, rape, mass rape, forced pregnancy,
sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and
trafficking. They face numerous health threats
grounded in biological differences, and the high
rate of infection and death increases womens
workload in maintaining their households and
community and providing care to orphaned


economic, social, political, legal

and cultural structures that
perpetuate gender inequality are still
in place throughout the world, and in
no nation do women have complete
equality within these structures to
participate as fully as men.


hierarchical structures
resulting in discrimination against
women and their second-class status
in society during peacetime limit
womens ability to cope with the
consequences of war, especially in
countries with a fundamentalist
interpretation of religion which is
repressive of womens rights.


means that women are

regarded as mens property, an
addition to the territory and other
things that men possess. Rape is to
male-female relations what
conquering troops are to occupied
territories, and imperial authority is
to colonialism.


experience war differently than do

The inequities that women around the
world face during peacetime are
compounded by the enacting of nationalist,
social, and cultural notions of gender and
These conditions render them especially
vulnerable to stress, trauma, and disease
at every time of warduring conflict, flight,
displacement, and the aftermath of war.