The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls: A Consultative Meeting on Mainstreaming Gender in Areas of Conflict and Reconstruction.


United Nations Population Fund. 2001. "The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls: A Consultative Meeting on Mainstreaming Gender in Areas of Conflict and Reconstruction". A report from the consultative meeting held in Bratislava, Slovakia, November 13-15.

Author: United Nations Population Fund


A consultative meeting, “The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls,” was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 13-15 November 2001. The purpose of the meeting was twofold: first, to examine and explore the impact of armed conflict on women and girls; and, second, to formulate strategies and tools to ensure that reproductive health programmes accurately reflect this population’s needs, specifically by addressing them through a comprehensive, gender- sensitive approach.

Keywords: reproductive rights



“The presence of peacekeeping organizations in post-conflict settings sometimes has negative ramifications on public health, again with severe repercussions for women and girls.” (UNPF, 4)

“Female genital mutilation is a contributory factor in obstetric complications and is often overlooked. Its incidence can increase in conflict situations when communities heighten traditional practices or seek to integrate with cultural customs of host populations.” (UNPF, 9)

“In post-conflict settings, the sudden entry of money and foreigners, and specifically peacekeeping organizations, heightens an already precarious situation for refugee and host populations...most peacekeeping personnel are men between 20 and 50 years of age...The demand for commercial sex increases sharply in settings with peacekeeping organizations.” (UNPF, 30)

“Women’s NGOs, in particular, need to be visibly involved to highlight issues of women and girls, whose culturally based gender roles often determine their needs.” (UNPF, 35)

“As has been shown women will invariably have taken on new roles during displacement, gender attitudes may have changed and it is vital that these advances are not lost in the post-conflict setting but rather are built upon in the rehabilitation of societies.” (UNPF, 55)

“Empowerment, as opposed to participation, is a feminist vision of development better suited to modern concepts of development...In the mainstream development discourse, however, empowerment focuses on entrepreneurship and self-reliance and not on challenging power structures which subordinate women.” (UNPF, 61)

“Women have used several entry points to transform the culture of violence and war to a culture of peace, non-violence and tolerance. For some, their entry point was to change the mentality and social roles, targeting men and young adolescent males, assuming that ‘since war beings in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defense of peace must be created.’” (UNPF, 113)

“Post-conflict societies and countries in transition face the great challenges of reconstruction and rehabilitation. They need financial and technical resources in order to meet the demands of rebuilding political, economic and social sectors...In disbursing funds for civil building, however, donors must take into consideration the gender dimension in all income-generating activities and development programmes.” (UNPF, 117)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Health, Reproductive Health, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2001

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