Issue Brief on Landmines

Sunday, January 1, 2006
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Women and men in some eighty countries live daily with the threat oflandmines; women are particularly affected as they comprise the majorityof the world's farmers and gatherers of food, water and firewood.Landmines block access to farmland, food, water and shelter, and act as amajor obstacle to the transport and distribution of basic relief supplies, therepair of essential infrastructure, and the rehabilitation of homes, schoolsand clinics. An essential component of demining operations should be toensure that those conducting the operations consult with women as theyoften identify priority areas for clearance, such as transportation routes tofields or markets, that may be different than those identified by military orpolitical authorities. A second implication is that landmine awarenesstraining, campaigns or classes are more successful when women areinvolved because women multiply vital information throughout theirfamilies and communities, particularly about signs of danger andpreventing injury.

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