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Liberia

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia

Citation:

Bamidele, Seun. 2017. “War, Sex and Justice: Barriers to Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Liberia.” International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences 12 (1): 69-82.

Author: Seun Bamidele

Abstract:

The literature on the sexual violence (SV) in many arms-ravaged countries offers a gruesome and horrific narrative of how the feminine sex has become a victim of such conflict. The literature relates how women were both victims and weapons of war in both physical and psychological ways. However, the literature contains very little relating to the issues of sexual justice for victims as well as perpetrators. In Liberia, years of conflict and abuses against women have been given great attention, but little has been said about regimes of reparation, rehabilitation, and compensation for the victims of war. While there were attempts to ensure that victims of war be systematically compensated and rehabilitated as in Rwanda, the Liberian experience left much to be desired in this respect. The reason for this deserves investigation. Although there are traditional and contemporary barriers barring access to sexual justice in many developing countries, Liberia included, efforts to achieve sexual assault justice in post-conflict societies remain very sensitive for the reason that they may inadvertently lead to stigmatization. The social deficit resulting from this failure has yet to be analyzed in many states. Similarly, a systemically dysfunctional judicial process cannot serve as an agency of remedy. This system is usually expensive to service and maintain. This is coupled with a loss of faith in government and its institutions by the victims. As a combination of weak judicial institutions and social and economic impediments limits the prospects of a sexual justice, this study assesses sexual justice in post-conflict Bahn and Nimba County in Liberia. It examines the broader implications, as it raises questions about the relevance of the regime of justice on the Bahn and Nimba County victims and the perpetrator and draw lessons from this experience.

Keywords: conflict, sexual violence, Sexual Justice, women, Liberia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

Reevaluating Peacekeeping Effectiveness: Does Gender Neutrality Inhibit Progress?

Citation:

Karim, Sabrina. 2017. “Reevaluating Peacekeeping Effectiveness: Does Gender Neutrality Inhibit Progress?” International Interactions 43 (5): 822–47.

Author: Sabrina Karim

Abstract:

Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325, more female peacekeepers are participating in peacekeeping missions than ever before. Nevertheless, the current literature on peacekeeping effectiveness is largely gender neutral, discounting the unique role female peacekeepers may play in peacekeeping operations. This article addresses this missing piece in the literature by assessing how female peacekeepers and locals view the role of women in peacekeeping operations. Using interviews and focus groups conducted with peacekeepers in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and original surveys conducted in Liberian communities, it finds that there is an “access gap” that prevents female peacekeepers from fully contributing to the mission’s operations and therefore prevents the peacekeeping mission from reaching its full potential. The findings have broader implications for how to improve peacekeeping missions’ effectiveness moving forward.

Keywords: gender, Liberia, peacekeeping, UNMIL, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Gender, Women, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security

Citation:

Martin de Almagro, Maria. 2017. "Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security." Global Society. doi: 10.1080/13600826.2017.1380610.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro

Abstract:

Recent efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the creation of National Action Plans (NAPs) in post-conflict countries have resulted in a set of international policy discourses and practices on gender, peace and security. Critics have challenged the WPS agenda for its focus on “adding women and stir” and its failure to be transformative. This article contributes to this debate by showing that the implementation of the WPS agenda is not only about adding women, but also about gendering in racialised, sexualised and classed ways. Drawing on poststructuralist and postcolonial feminist theory and on extensive fieldwork in post-conflict contexts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Liberia, the article examines the subject position of the woman participant. I demonstrate how NAPs normalise certain subject positions in the Global South while rendering invisible and troubling others, contributing to (re)producing certain forms of normativity and hierarchy through a powerful set of policy practices. Deconstructing such processes of discursive inclusion and exclusion of troubled representations is essential as it allows for the identification of sites of contestation and offers a better understanding of the everyday needs and experiences of those the WPS agenda regulates.

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia

Year: 2017

The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economics Marginalities

Citation:

Kingsolver, Ann, and Nandini Gunewardena, eds. 2008. The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economics Marginalities. Oxford: School for Advanced Research Press.

Authors: Ann Kingsolver, Nandini Gunewardena

Annotation:

Summary:
As "globalization" moves rapidly from buzzword to cliche, evaluating the claims of neoliberal capitalism to empower and enrich remains urgently important. The authors in this volume employ feminist, ethnographic methods to examine what free trade and export processing zones, economic liberalization, and currency reform mean to women in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ghana, the United States, India, Jamaica, and many other places (Summary from Jacket).
 
Table of Contents:
1. Feminist methodology as a tool for ethnographic inquiry on globalization
Faye V. Harrison
 
2. Disrupting subordination and negotiating belonging : women workers in the transnational production sites of Sri Lanka
Nandini Gunewardena
 
3. Making hay while the sun shines : Ghanaian female traders and their insertion into the global economy
Akosua K. Darkwah
 
4. Clothing difference : commodities and consumption in Southeastern Liberia
Mary H. Moran
 
5. Progressive women, traditional men : globalization, migration, and equality in the northern periphery of the European Union
Ulrika Dahl
 
6. Neoliberal policy as structural violence : its links to domestic violence in black communities in the United States
William L. Conwill
 
7. Gendered bodily scars of neoliberal globalization in Argentina
Barbara Sutton
 
8. Geographies of race and class : the place and placelessness of migrant Filipina domestic workers
Rhacel Salazar Parreñas
 
9. Sticking to the union : anthropologists and "union maids" in San Francisco
Sandy Smith-Nonini
 
10. "The Caribbean is on sale" : globalization and women tourist workers in Jamaica
A. Lynn Bolles
 
11. In the fields of free trade : gender and plurinational en/countering of neoliberal agricultural policies
Ann Kingsolver
 
12. Globalization, "swadeshi", and women's movements in Orissa, India
Annapurna Pandey
 
13. Complex negotiations : gender, capitalism, and relations of power
Mary Anglin and Louise Lamphere
 
14. Navigating paradoxical globalizations
Ann Kingsolver
 
15. Reconstituting marginality : gendered repression and women's resistance
Nandini Gunewardena.
 

Topics: Economies, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations, Privatization Regions: Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Argentina, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Liberia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, United States of America

Year: 2008

Women, War and Peace: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war, and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003.

National Action Plans as an Obstacle to Meaningful Local Ownership of UNSCR 1325 in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Citation:

Basini, Helen, and Caitlin Ryan. 2016. “National Action Plans as an Obstacle to Meaningful Local Ownership of UNSCR 1325 in Liberia and Sierra Leone.” International Political Science Review 37 (3): 390-403.

Authors: Helen Basini, Caitlin Ryan

Abstract:

National Action Plans (NAPs) have been hailed as the preferential mode of implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 at a national level. In recent years, member states, especially post-conflict member states, have been heeding the calls of the United Nations to develop their own National Action Plans. However, there has been limited assessment of whether or not National Action Plans are beneficial to women in post-conflict states. Using evidence from field research in Liberia and Sierra Leone, this article argues that, despite the intent to increase national ownership of 1325 in post-conflict states, National Action Plans are ineffective at creating meaningful local ownership because they are driven by a bureaucratic approach to peacebuilding. Furthermore, implementation of National Action Plans in post-conflict states is hampered by a variety of factors, such as lack of capacity and lack of political will. Finally, we conclude that National Action Plans also do a disservice to the hard work and dedication of local women’s organisations.

Keywords: gender, Liberia, National Action Plans, peace, post-conflict, security, Sierra Leone, UNSCR 1325, women

Topics: Gender, Women, conflict, Governance, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2016

An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries

Citation:

Graham, Jay P., Mitsuaki Hirai, and Seung-Sup Kim. 2016. “An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries.” PLOS ONE 11 (6): e0155981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155981.

Authors: Jay P. Graham, Mitsuaki Hirai, Seung-Sup Kim

Abstract:

Background

It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.

Objectives

This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.

Methods

We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.

Results

Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).

Conclusion

In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

Year: 2016

Women and Peace Building: From Historical to Contemporary African Perspectives

Citation:

Shulika, Lukong Stella. 2016. "Women And Peace Building: From Historical to Contemporary African Perspectives." Ubuntu Journal of Conflict And Social Transformation 5 (1): 7-31.

Author: Lukong Stella Shulika

Abstract:

The subject of women and peacebuilding is arguably an area of research which, prior to the 21st century, remained undeveloped and unexplored in the field of conflict and peace, and in the practice of peacebuilding. This development signalled a new attentiveness on the importance of women's roles as indispensable stakeholders in peacebuilding processes. However, pre contemporary consciousness, women did leverage standard decision-making prowess that served diverse political, socio-economic, and security goals. Through a review of relevant literature and purposive unstructured interviews in Liberia, this paper examines the changing landscape of women's peacebuilding roles using examples from cross-cultural African experiences. The paper asserts that before the internationalization of women's role in the affairs of peacebuilding, women were already subconsciously or consciously involved in such decision-making processes, especially under the aegis of women organizations. Likewise, it contends that patriarchy and marginalization of women was quite in existence and these challenges which are unquestionably in continuity in the contemporary impede women's peacebuilding efforts. From these, this paper contributes to the evolving literature on women and peacebuilding discourses.

Keywords: women, women organizations, peacebuilding, Liberia, African perspectives, international policies

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

The Political Economy of DDR in Liberia: A Gendered Critique

Citation:

Jennings, Kathleen M. 2009. “The Political Economy of DDR in Liberia: A Gendered Critique.” Conflict, Security & Development 9 (4): 475-94. 

Author: Kathleen M. Jennings

Abstract:

This paper examines the reintegration component of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme in Liberia from a critical gendered perspective. Building on previous arguments pertaining to the securitisation of reintegration in Liberia, the paper considers the highly gendered impetus and impact of both the reintegration project and the securitising act. I argue that Liberian DDR was devised and justified according to assumptions that are default male, thus causing the programme to overlook women except as passive victims of conflict, or as add-ons secondary to the ‘real’ purpose of reintegration. Accordingly, the programme both naturalised specific gendered binaries and favoured moves that would buttress and extend them, for example, by problematizing male unemployment and privileging male entry into the formal economy. The paper first explains the securitisation of reintegration in Liberia, before turning to a gendered critique focusing on the political symbolic and political economic impacts of said reintegration.

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2009

Pages

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