Reference : V-P-NG-E-00978
Date : 08/2017
Country/Region : NIGERIA
Caption : Borno State, Maiduguri, Bakassi camp for internally displaced persons. This 17-year-old young woman lives in the camp with her sister and mother.
Photographer : HAMMOND, Robin
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : Noor for ICRC
Description : When she was 15 years old, her village was attacked. "In the evening at about 5 pm, when the people had finished eating food, we heard gunshots. I remember shivering with fright. Unknown to us, the village had been surrounded and was being invaded. There was no room for escape. We hid in a room, the sound of gunshots coming closer. Stray bullets penetrating our roof. We covered ourselves with mattress and cried for help to no avail", she says. Most of the men had fled already. They were kept in a room for a week without food before being released. Once they had a chance to escape, the women immediately scattered. She went one way, her mother went another. They hid in the bush. They didn't see each other again for 18 months. The ICRC facilitated their reunification. "They took my information and my photo. They contacted my aunt at Maiduguri and showed her my picture. We both started crying when we heard each other's voice", she says. "My hope for the future is to return to our homes in peace", she adds.

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