The Role of Women in Making and Building Peace in Liberia : Gender Sensitivity versus Masculinity

Authored by: Anne Theobald

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Peace Accords, Peacemaking
Country: Liberia
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2014
Citation: Theobald, Anne. The Role of Women in Making and Building Peace in Liberia: Gender Sensitivity versus Masculinity. Stuttgart, Germany: Ibidem Press (2014).

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Executive Summary

The present study will consider women’s participation with reference to three organisations – the Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI), the Mano River Union Women Peace Network (MARWOPNET) and the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET). Not only did they engage in grassroots actions, e.g. marches or strikes, but they were also strongly active at a high political level by lobbying politicians and rebels as well as participating in negotiations and peace talks on a sub-regional level. These are peacemaking activities, i.e. attempts to reach an agreement between warring factions to end violence and fighting. In addition to those, women supported disarmament and reintegration of ex-combatants and child soldiers and undertook measures to overcome the underlying root causes of violent conflict and promote reconciliation over the longer term. These are peacebuilding activities, which aim at overcoming structural reasons of conflict, reconciling divided societies and preventing future conflict in the long run. In the following, both peacemaking and peacebuilding in Liberia are considered as part of the Liberian peace process. This analysis will focus on internal peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts by women’s organisations. International political influence is not systematically taken into account in order to assess impact and scope of women’s political activities in an un-distorted and independent way.