Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts' Assessment PDF Print E-mail

AUTHOR: E. Rehn and E. Johnson Sirleaf
DATE: 2002
PUBLISHER: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

The voices of women, their experiences during war and their struggles to build peace are at the heart of this report by independent experts Elisabeth Rehn (Finland) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia). Because of the specific way in which women are targeted during conflict, and because Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security called for further study, UNIFEM appointed the two women, both politicians and government officials in their home countries, to travel to conflict areas, interview women and bring their concerns to the attention of the United Nations and the world. The report covers many areas of concern, from the gender dimensions of violence and displacement during conflict to the role of peacekeepers and the need for women to play a central part during peace negotiations and reconstruction. Key recommendations focus on finding ways to protect and empower women. Chapter Four focuses on HIV/AIDS, Women and War. It discusses how wherever a woman lives with conflict and upheaval, the threat of HIV/AIDS and its effects are multiplied. Women are more susceptible to infection than men, yet often have little control over their sexuality, and at the same time are forced by conflict conditions to trade sex for money, food, shelter and any other number of necessities. Education, protection and access to treatment are essential for people in conflict zones if the rates of infection are to be reduced. The full report is available on-line

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