The Effects of Armed Conflict on Girls and Women

This article discusses the gender-specific effects of armed conflict on girls and women that are addressed by the Machel Study. Among the most traumatic of these effects is sexual exploitation and gender-based violence, each having profound psychosocial consequences. Other gendered effects occur when girls are recruited as child soldiers, girls and women become internally and externally displaced refugees, and public health services, such as reproductive health care, are inadequate or unavailable. The Machel Study emphasizes women’s proactive roles as peacebuilders and challenges governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to focus greater attention upon building women’s capacities in order to better protect children’s physical and psychosocial well-being.

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