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Blog: International Women’s Day 2021: Women, mine action and the environment

Women already play a critical role in mine action, with the number of women working in humanitarian demining programmes increasing. Given gender differences in perception and behaviour towards environmental protection, women also have an important role in environmental mainstreaming in the sector. Linsey Cottrell and Kendra Dupuy contacted women working in humanitarian mine action to explore their views on the environmental issues facing mine action and the communities in which they work, the challenges ahead, and hopes for the future. Women working in Azerbaijan, Colombia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe were interviewed.

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Iraq: environmental awareness raising is important in community liaison, including the impact of climate change on contaminated areas. Photo: MAG/Gona Hassan
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An NPA demining team working in a wooded area on Hamburger Hill, Vietnam. Photo: Do Thi Thanh Nhan

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Mechanical demining in Azerbaijan - it can be a cost effective means of clearance but it can damage fragile soils. Photo: Roza Sefixanli