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Women - Victims of war

Tuesday, 21 June 2011, 11.30 a.m., Room Aeltestenrat

Victims of war are seldom seen or heard about in the broader public debate. It is the difficult task of the media to cover the gruesome experiences of women raped during the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, families tyrannized by drug gangs in the favelas of Rio and Mexico, or prisoners of war, tortured and humiliated in conflicts around the world. But for journalists, reporting these cases poses a major dilemma. On the one hand, they are expected to objectively cover the stories of war-time sufferers and to "expose" the victims. On the other hand, every individual that has been abused and exploited stirs up high emotions and it takes intuition and tact in order not to harm their dignity any further. Besides actually reportinging on victims of war, the media also has a responsibility to help concerned people to leave their humiliation behind and abandon their lives as victims in order to reintegrate into society.

In the overall context of international human rights, and the violations thereof, panel members will discuss how broadcasters should report on this marginalized, yet major group of people affected. To what extent can the media give sufferers of war and conflict their voice back and help them to shake off their trauma?

Experts from various fields will provide an insight into this highly sensitive area of "collateral war damages" and critically discuss the challenges for the media.

Moderation:
Adelheid Feilcke
Head of International Relations, Deutsche Welle

Panelists:
Lea Ackermann
Foundress of SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress)

Monika Hauser
Founder and Executive Member of the Managing Board of Medica Mondiale

Elvan Isikozlu
Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)

Esther Mujawayo
Sociologist, trauma therapist and author

Karin Nordmeyer
President of UN Women National Committee Germany

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