Reference : V-P-NG-E-00977
Date : 25/08/2017
Country/Region : NIGERIA
Caption : Borno State, Maiduguri, State Specialist Hospital. This 29-year-old woman works in a specialist gunshot and bomb blast wounded ward set up and run by the ICRC in the hospital.
Photographer : HAMMOND, Robin
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : Noor for the ICRC
Description : "Bomb blasts mostly occur in public places and most victims are female. For instance, in the market place, there are many women who go shopping and if something happens, it affects mostly women. When you go to the market, you are looking all around you because you do not know who is carrying a bomb. So you hurry and leave the market", she says. "Maiduguri was peaceful when I was young. And now, even if you are going out of your house, you are afraid of a bomb blast, thinking whether you will come back or not", she adds. "If there is peace, children grow up, they play freely without fear of anything harming them, no bomb blast to harm them. When the children go out to play, you are worried about whether or not they will be affected by a bomb blast. Even when they go to school, you are worried about a bomb blast happening. I fear for them when they sustain injuries. Some of them have lost their legs. Most of the women are affected by the conflict because their husband has died because of bomb blast or gunshot. Then you see many of the women start begging. That is how the conflict has affected them", she explains. She complains that not only are women killed and injured in high numbers but many lose their husband, often the breadwinner of their family, and are forced into poverty which sees them and their children begging in the streets of Maiduguri, something she rarely saw as a child before the current conflict.

ICRC web site, article of 11.10.2018: Women and war. Men make war; women live with the consequences. At least that is the way it is largely perceived.

Women live and react to those consequences, but they are hardly passive victims. They grieve, they fight against the suffering, and many find they are forced to re-invent themselves, shedding an old identity and forging a new one shaped by war.
A new feature by National Geographic, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, takes a closer look at how women react to and deal with the disruption that conflict brings to family and work life.
In the project, A Woman's War, we break open the stereotype of "women as victim" and explore the multiple, complex, sometimes conflicting roles women play in conflict: fighters, humanitarians, mothers, daughters, laborers, community leaders and survivors.
"I believe that women are agents for change. I believe that women are major sources of stability in conflict-affected areas and that they hold together not only their families but their communities," said Mary Werntz, the deputy director of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross. "My hope is that we all, humanitarians included, are able to look at women in their complete forms and not just as victims of something."
The lives documented are diverse. Photographer Robin Hammond visited a war he knows well – Iraq – as well as conflicts that seldom make global headlines, in the Philippines and southern Nigeria. Identities continue to be shaped by war even when the guns falls silent, so Hammond also travelled to Peru to see old scars that have not yet healed.
Working on gender is complex. It combines power and privilege, community rituals and expectations. Conflict tends to exacerbate existing inequalities. What happens when the family bread winner – often a male – goes off to war or is killed by the violence? Societal roles shift; women may be given an opportunity they previously didn't have.
"I think in many conflict situations women are forced into being the ones in charge of the family," Werntz said. "Women may have to take care of the agricultural areas. They may have to move into the work force. They have to look after the kids' education."
Resolution : 6192x8256
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour