Reconstructing Female Soldiers: Sex, Security, and Conjugal Order in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Megan MacKenzie

February 8, 2011

UMass Boston

Drawing on her fieldwork with female combatants in Sierra Leone, Megan MacKenzie explores the ways in which post-conflict reconstruction is a highly gendered process defined and imposed largely from the outside of so-called war-torn communities. The phase of transition between war and the so-called post-war period provides a unique opportunity to examine how social order is literally reconstructed through intervening actors, particularly international organizations and NGOs. Looking specifically at the ways in which female soldiers are described, depicted, categorized, and reconstructed by government agencies and international actors reveals a great deal about how Western liberal forms of conjugal order were reconstructed in Sierra Leone.

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