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Red Cross exhibition pays tribute to the strength of women in times of war

Friday March 5, 2010

The acclaimed 'Women and War' photographic exhibition will be officially opened in Cairns on Monday to mark International Women's Day.

Presented by Australian Red Cross in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the series of 34 stark images portrays the many ways in which women experience war today.

Australian Red Cross' Regional Manager, Lyndal Scobell, said the 'Women and War' exhibition was a fitting way to mark International Women's Day as it payed tribute to the strength of women in times of war.

'These images show that while women remain victims in times of war, they also show incredible courage and capacity,' Ms Scobell said. 'This exhibition celebrates the accomplishments these women achieved in the face of incredible hardship and disadvantage.'

The exhibition, to be on display at Cairns Regional Council, explores themes of displacement, physical and sexual violence, loss of contact with loved ones, detention, and lack of access to food and medical care. It includes photographs from Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sudan.

Red Cross Humanitarian Law Officer Eve Massingham said the exhibition's national tour was part of Red Cross' ongoing effort to increase awareness of the experiences of women during and after conflict and highlight the importance of the laws of war.

'The laws of war - or International Humanitarian Law - provide a range of protections for women and acknowledge that they have special needs during times of armed conflict,' she said.

'Sadly, these protections are not always respected and it is often women and children who become the first casualties of war, as some of the images in the exhibition portray.'

The exhibition will be officially opened by Mayor Val Schier and Australian Red Cross branch president Win Murray at 10am on Monday.

The free exhibition will be on display in the foyer of Cairns Regional Council until 17 March, 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Media contacts:
For media enquiries and press images from the exhibition contact media adviser Joe Cropp on 0400 942 861 or email