Book - Women and War: Deep Purdah

Women facing War by Charlotte Lindsey Published by the ICRC October 2001

The World Today Updated 23 October 2020 Published 1 February 2002 2 minute READ

Lesley Abdela

was the OSCE Deputy Director for Democratisation in Kosovo

In what now seems a world of long, long ago, the legitimate aim of conflict was to weaken the military forces of the enemy. At the dishonourable end of the 20th Century, warfare became a shabby and cowardly affair, conducted by men who did not want to get killed themselves but thirsted to inflict the maximum hurt on the adversary’s culture, society and economy. An important strategic rather than unintended consequence of this ugly mindset is to terrify and rape women and drive them like starving cattle to the margins.

Until now, the impact wars make on women has been wrapped in a Harry Potter cloak of invisibility for policy planners.

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