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Women and Explosive Weapons

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Concern with the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has increased over the last few years, due to the severe harm caused to civilians and the wider community. However, the debate has so far not sufficiently highlighted the specific impact that explosive weapons have on women. 


This publication seeks to draw attention to some of the unique impacts on women that explosive weapons have when used in populated areas. The publication argues that it is important to ensure that women affected by the use of explosive weapons receive the same assistance and legal protection as men, and that they are seen as active agents of change rather than only as victims.

The report is part of Reaching Critical Will's attempt to highlight the impact of weapons on women and the importance of strengthen a gender perspective in disarmament and arms control in order to ensure inclusive security and prevent all human suffering.

The report briefly describes explosive weapons and the legal tools available to assess their use, focusing in particular on legal documents that support greater inclusion of gender analysis and women’s participation. The second part of this paper gives an overview on how explosive weapons specifically affect women and why a gendered analysis of the impact of explosive weapons use in populated areas is needed.

Download the full report here. The report is also available in Arabic.

We are delighted to offer the online version for free, but please consider making a donation to Reaching Critical Will to help us continue producing the research, materials and information services that we provide