Meeting of the Executive Committee, 15 March 1927

Present: Mlle le Dr.  A. MASARYKOVA, among 10 gentlemen from the Committee, the Finance Committee and the Secretariat.

Otherwise, the documents relating to this meeting do not contain information that throws light on the role of women within the League or the Movement.


Meeting of the General Council, Geneva, 1920

From the introduction to the Resolutions:

“With our constituent Societies thus strengthened, we feel that the Medical Programme as outlined in the resolutions from that section may be most effectively carried on, embracing as it does the important features of the care and welfare of mothers and children, the treatment and control of tuberculosis and other infectious and contagious diseases and the improvement of sanitation, the , standardisation of vital statistics, and the encouragement of the development of scientific study along practical lines affecting the public health. We advocate through these Resolutions the extension of nursing service in all its branches covering the community, the home and the school as well as along more firmly established lines”.



So far as concerns the participation of the League in the world-campaign against Tuberculosis, the Medical Advisory Board , basing its opinion upon the Programme of the Cannes Conference, consider that the League should proceed to create, in certain districts of one of several of the countries of Europe that are most seriously affected with Tuberculosis, an experimental organisation on a more or less limited basis, expressing in its constitutional part of the general programme. This part should include:

  1. A preliminary survey of latent tuberculosis as well as of open infection in the entire population of some chosen districts, according to age, sex; profession and social groups;
  • A statistical study of tuberculosis mortality and of the various forms and localisations of the disease (in co-operation with the local public health authority);
  • The establishment of an adequate number of dispensaries managed by specially trained physicians and visiting nurses;
  • The organisation of sanatoria for isolation of advanced cases and for treatment of curable cases;
  • The creation of preventoria and open air schools for children;
  • The education of the medical profession as well as of the general public regarding the social fight against tuberculosis.

* Resolved; that the League organise an anti-tuberculosis demonstration in one or several countries where this demonstration would be particularly desirable and where the national Red Cross Society would bind itself to continue and to develop the movement undertaken”.

“Child Welfare

Puericulture (Child Welfare) consists not only in the care of sick children, but more especially in the measures as a whole to be adopted with regard to children before and after birth (pre-natal, natal and post-natal), hygiene of pregnancy and nourishment of the mother; hygiene of infancy and nursing; hygiene of early childhood; supervision of growth and protection from communicable diseases, more especially tuberculosis, in order to ensure normal development and avoid illness.

National Red Cross Societies should take measures to develop among nurses training in puericulture. The League should, in conformity with its resources, participate in this activity, either by creating or assisting in the creation of schools of puericulture or Child Welfare Centres, or by providing scholarships for doctors and nurses at existing schools of puericulture, such as the Franco-American School of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris or similar schools in other countries, and finally by the dissemination of the means of educative propaganda among the people.”

“Venereal Diseases.

The Medical Advisory Board consider that it would be desirable for the League to devote its attention to the question of education in sex-hygiene and antivenereal propaganda. The Board consider besides that it would be suitable for the League to study the means by which it would be possible to reduce the cost of specifically anti-syphilitic drugs which bring about the prompt disappearance of contagious lesions.

The Board consider that the diffusion of moral and physiological knowledge and of the ideals of purity and integrity of family life cannot be too much encouraged.

Resolved that, whereas venereal diseases are prevalent and dangerous communicable infections against which science has developed a practical programme for eradication, the League (a) recommend to all national Reel Cross Societies the desirability of holding annually, or at frequent intervals, regional conferences upon this subject for friendly review and criticism of the measures proposed, and (b] tender its services to all countries desiring to participate in the organisation of such regional conferences.


* Resolved that the League urge the establishment in Europe of one or more model Training Schools for Public Health Nurses, but that until this can be realised, there be founded under the supervision of the League, Nursing Scholarships for the national Red Cross Societies for those countries where no such facilities exist in a city chosen as being most appropriate”.


Meeting of the Board of Governors, [sine loco], 1923

The records available contains noting of interest in the present context, and no women are mentioned, in the single page of resolutions available.

One of them was the establishment of a Committee which would review the outcome of negotiations with the ICRC prior to their submission to National Societies.

This committee consisted of four gentlemen and an unidentified representative of the Chairman of the Board of Governors.


12th Session of the General Assembly, Geneva, 23 – 27 October 1999


One woman, Ms. Helen Durham (Australian Red Cross) was appointed to the four-member Drafting Committee


The General Assembly,

Recalling Decision 29 (Gender Perspectives) of the 11th session of the General Assembly (1997),

Taking note of the recommendation contained in the report of the Development Commission,

Acknowledging the extensive preparatory work and consultations undertaken by the Development Commission and the Secretariat,

Adopts the Gender Policy of the International Federation,

Urges all National Societies:

  • to review existing policies with a gender perspective,
  • to put in place institutional procedures to ensure that gender analysis is part of programming,
  • to conduct self-assessments with regard to the participation of men and women as staff and volunteers at headquarters and local branches,
  • Requests the Secretary General:
  • to develop the necessary guidelines which need to accompany the Policy, provided that the necessary resources are available,
  • to gather and share information and good practices of National Societies with regard to mainstreaming a gender perspective in Red Cross and Red Crescent work,
  • to monitor the implementation of the Policy and report to the 13th session of the General Assembly in 2001.


The General Assembly,

Having noted that all members of the International Conference – States, National Societies, the International Federation and the ICRC – are invited to make a pledge to the 27th International Conference,

Recognising the need for the Federation to define its own pledge, and that the pledge chosen should address an issue of importance to all National Societies as well as the Federation collectively,

Also recognising the importance of volunteers for National Societies, and the focus on the development of volunteering in Strategy 2010,

Confirms the following pledge of the International Federation to the 27th International Conference:

Volunteers are the most important strength of any National Society; they are “the power of humanity” and the champions of Red Cross/Red Crescent humanitarian values. The International Federation therefore pledges the following:

  • to review the current situation of volunteers and identify areas where change is needed to improve services to beneficiaries, the status of volunteers and their role in the organization;
  • to develop clear policies, guidelines and best management practices for volunteers which focus on
  • human resources development;
  • to ensure equal opportunities for men and women of all ages as volunteers in service delivery and National Society leadership, to bring about greater involvement of marginalized groups, and to provide the required support by paid staff;
  • to cooperate with governments to broaden the existing legal, fiscal and political bases for volunteering, and to mobilize increased public support;
  • to expand cooperation with other volunteer organizations at all levels, and playa significant role in the International Year of Volunteers in 2001.

Encourages all National Societies to present their own pledges to the International Conference and to motivate their governments to do likewise.