Gender and Civil War: The Cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone

Authored by: Emmanual Kwesi Aning

Categories: Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Peacemaking
Country: Liberia, Sierra Leone
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 1998
Citation: Aning, Emmanual Kwesi. "Gender and Civil War: The Cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone." Civil Wars 1, no. 4 (1998): 1-26.

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The major rationale of this article is to contribute to the increasing body of gender studies dealing with the role of African women in societal issues. The basic concerns, however, are to analyse the character and nature of assignments performed by women in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean crises. I seek to explore these roles by moving away from the traditional essentialist perspectives which define some of these studies. Rather, the approach stresses the issue of ‘militarisation’ because the term is more encompassing; it takes into consideration the role of women in recruitment drives, extension of financial assistance to diverse factional groups, and not least their diverse roles in the Peace and Reconstruction Processes. Finally, through interviews, the article seeks to give ordinary women a voice, by describing the various survival strategies employed during these two conflicts. The major conclusion from this tentative study is the need for more empirical research to cover the diverse activities undertaken by women.