In DR Congo, 30 to 40 percent of the child soldiers are girls. They experience more sexual abuse and stigmatization and they receive less help than the boy soldiers. In spite of this, the girls get far less attention from the international community.
Women and men, boys and girls may have different needs and personal resources in a crisis situation. But how easy is it for humanitarian aid workers to remember this when they are surrounded by people in crisis?
“Women are peace-loving.” “Women are problem-solvers.” “Women are more empathetic than men.” Arguments such as these are often used to advocate for women’s participation in military operations. This is a risky road to go down, according to researcher Kathleen Jennings.