Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Synopsis

The eleven-year civil war in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002 was incomprehensibly brutal--it is estimated that half of all female refugees were raped and many thousands were killed. While the publicity surrounding sexual violence helped to create a general picture of women and girls as victims of the conflict, there has been little effort to understand female soldiers' involvement in, and experience of, the conflict. Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone draws on interviews with 75 former female soldiers and over 20 local experts, providing a rare perspective on both the civil war and post-conflict development efforts in the country. Megan MacKenzie argues that post-conflict reconstruction is a highly gendered process, demonstrating that a clear recognition and understanding of the roles and experiences of female soldiers are central to both understanding the conflict and to crafting effective policy for the future.

Excerpt

Christine Sylvester

At last, students of feminist international relations (IR) have become interested in the women hiding in plain view: the women of war and conflict, which is to say the women who become agents of collective violence and, when possible, of post-conflict strategies. the violent woman of international relations is not only more “OK” to study than she once was; she is apt to be visited in situ by academics from a field that used to associate fieldwork with comparative politics, anthropology, and area studies. True ir scholars once seemed to theorize from their university offices and to produce high abstractions as a result. Everyday people were either invisible in international relations, because they were beside the point, or slotted into a few categories of relevance—soldiers, civilians, deaths. Now, along with exposing the many locations once blotted out by a Great Powers focus, analysts of feminist international relations are increasingly going to ground and endeavoring to study up rather than do ir theory at the top. Many are talking to people who have experienced war and conflict and also know personally and politically about post-conflict programs pursued by local and international communities.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.