“This is the Time to Get in Front”

Changing Roles and Opportunities for Women in Liberia

Authored by: Veronika Fuest

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, Political Transitions
Country: Liberia
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2008
Citation: Fuest, Veronika. "‘This is the Time to Get in Front’: Changing Roles and Opportunities for Women in Liberia." African Affairs 107, no. 427 (2008): 201-224.

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Most research on women in war focuses on female losses. This article demonstrates that wars may also bring gains. The scope of political and economic roles that Liberian women perform today appears to be larger than before the war. Both individually and collectively, certain women have gainfully used openings the war provided them. The article discusses the historicity of Liberian gender roles, examining the social subgroups of politicians, businesswomen, women’s organizations, employees, and school girls. Changes have also been fostered by the international peace-building and development business. Although the realization of female ambitions seems to be constrained by various institutional and economic factors, Liberia may harbour a unique potential for sustainable shifts in gender roles.