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Sierra Leone

The Unrealised Potential for Transformative Reparations for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Williams, Sarah, and Jasmine Opdam. 2017. “The Unrealised Potential for Transformative Reparations for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone.” The International Journal of Human Rights 21 (9): 1281–301.

Authors: Sarah Williams, Jasmine Opdam

Abstract:

The conflict in Sierra Leone was known for the scope and severity of atrocities targeted at civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) mainly perpetrated against women and girls. Post-conflict initiatives included the establishment of a hybrid criminal tribunal, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), and a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). However, neither possessed a mandate for reparations to victims, yet both have made some contribution to tranformation. The judgments and processes of the SCSL have provided a measure of recognition to victims of SGBV. The TRC was required to to pay special attention to the experiences of women and girls in respect of sexual violence and structural inequality. It also interpreted its mandate broadly, in particular to making general recommendations as to the position of women and girls, as well as more specific recommendations as to reparations projects. These recommendations addressed three aspects of gender justice based on Fraser (recognition, representation and redistribution) and offered considerable scope for transformative reparations for victims of SGBV, including through structural, legal and social changes intended to guarantee the non-repetition of sexual violence. However, this article argues that although several of the TRC’s recommendations had transformative potential, much of this potential has not been realised due to the failure of the government to implement those recommendations.

Keywords: Sierra Leone, reparations, truth commission, sexual and gender-based violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Reparations, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2017

Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - 'the forgotten Gender' - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone

Citation:

Baio, Andrew, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, and David Whitmarsh. 2013. “Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - the ‘forgotten Gender’ - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone.” African Historical Review 45 (1): 46–61.

Authors: Andrew Baio, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, David Whitmarsh

Abstract:

In a number of low-income countries the fisheries sector has been shown to be instrumental in meeting key development goals, specifically in combating malnutrition, but the crucial contribution of women within this sector has been largely overlooked. This is particularly true in Sierra Leone, despite gender featuring prominently in the country’s poverty reduction strategy. This article therefore examines the history of female involvement in the sector, how this involvement was transformed by the civil war, and assesses whether the various current initiatives to support women in the post-harvest sector offer a realistic ‘pathway out of poverty’.

Keywords: fish distribution chain, food security, women, poverty alleviation, Sierra Leone

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

Gender, Patronage and Race in Modernist Agribusiness

Caitlin Ryan

November 26, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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(Re)colonizing Agriculture in the Name of 'Development'

Caitlin Ryan

October 30, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2014. “Advancing Women’s Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” In Feminisms, Empowerment and Development: Changing Women’s Lives, edited by Andrea Cornwall and Jenny Edwards. London: Zed Books.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
“Sierra Leone’s reconstruction and peace consolidation policies and programmes are pursued within the post-conflict peace-building framework (UN 1992). Within this framework, women and gender issues have been articulated through a series of UN Security Council resolutions, such as 1325 (in 2000), 1820 (in 2008), 1888 and 1889 (in 2009), 1960 (in 2010) and 2106 and 2122 (in 2013). These resolutions specifically address women’s rights in post-conflict societies, their participation in reconstruction processes, their protection from violence, and the strengthening of justice systems. For instance, resolution 1325, the premier declaration on Women, Peace and Security, clearly links sexual violence as a weapon of war with the pursuit of peace and security, and outlines a legal structure for addressing these concerns at various levels” (Abdullah 2014, 67-68).
 
“To further consolidate the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UN released two reports – ‘Report of the Secretary- General on Women, Peace and Security’ and ‘Report of the Secretary-General on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding’ – on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325. The outstanding element in the latter report, which looked at women’s needs and participation in post-conflict reconstruction and transformation and peace-building processes, was the stipulation that 15 per cent of all UN-managed post-conflict financing funds should support projects that ‘address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women’ (UN 2010). While this framework has a transformatory edge, it does not go far enough to ensure women’s empowerment. Its application in post-conflict Sierra Leone is disjointed and full of loopholes that can be used to roll back whatever gains women have achieved. This chapter explores and reflects on this outcome” (68-69).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Abstract:

In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

"We Have No Voice for That”: Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone

Citation:

Millar, Gearoid. 2015. “‘We Have No Voice for That’: Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone.” Journal of Human Rights 14 (4): 445–62.

Author: Gearoid Millar

Abstract:

Much attention has recently focused on the lease of land throughout the global south to nations and corporations in the global north. It is argued that local people’s access to and relationships with the land are being redefined and that large segments of these populations are being denied their rights to land with potentially detrimental effects for their livelihoods and food security. This article explores one such project in Sierra Leone, focusing specifically on the experiences of rural women. The data illustrate how these women experience this 40,000 hectare bioenergy project as disempowering and disruptive. While these women may have the formal right to participate in land decisions and project benefits, they had no such right in practice. I argue here that this outcome is the result of compound disempowerment that results from the complex interaction of indigenous social and cultural dynamics and the supposedly gender-neutral logic of liberal economics.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Armah, Frederick Ato, Karin Steen, and Genesis Tambang Yengoh. 2015. “Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone.” Gender Issues 32 (4): 221–44.

Authors: Frederick Ato Armah, Karin Steen, Genesis Tambang Yengoh

Abstract:

Women farmers make up a majority of small-scale food producers in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their important role in the food and livelihood security of their households and communities, women continue to face substantial challenges in their rights of and access to land resources in the region. In a number of countries such as Sierra Leone where large-scale land acquisition is ongoing, we posit that women’s predicament may further deteriorate. Using data drawn from a survey of household and livelihood activities, focus groups and interviews we examine the outcomes of large-scale land acquisitions on women at the local level in two districts in Sierra Leone. We found that first, women depend more on land-based natural resources that directly affect the day-to-day welfare of households (such as firewood and medicinal plants) than men. Second, land acquisitions have led to a significant fall in the incomes of women and men. The effects of the fall of women’s income have more direct and profound consequences on household wellbeing compared with men. Third, men tend to rank the effects of land acquisitions on women lower than women do. We conclude that current social and cultural norms and women’s role in rural societies is complex and predisposes women to negative livelihood processes and outcomes associated with large-scale land acquisitions. Policy interventions designed to address local and national challenges to socio- economic and cultural development should recognize the crucial role played by women and be responsive to their special needs.

Keywords: women, livelihoods, land acquisition, gender, land rights, land resources

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Food Security, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

Holding African States to Task on Gender and Violence: Domesticating UNSCR 1325 in the Sierra Leone National Action Plan

Citation:

Beoku-Betts, Josephine. 2016. “Holding African States to Task on Gender and Violence: Domesticating UNSCR 1325 in the Sierra Leone National Action Plan.” Current Sociology Monograph 64 (4): 654–70.

Author: Josephine Beoku-Betts

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article assesses efforts to combat sexual violence in Sierra Leone through its National Action Plan (SILNAP) passed in 2010 to implement UN Resolution 1325. The article examines specifically pillars two and three, which address protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and prevention of violence against women through strengthening women’s legal rights and supporting women’s local peace initiatives. In spite of legislative measures and sustained activism by women’s NGOs, efforts to promote gender equality and reduce institutionalized violence affecting women’s daily lives are limited. Failure to account for structural inequalities such as poverty, illiteracy, income disparities, violence against women in private and public spheres, and limited budget allocation to implement the plan are contributing factors. The article is informed by feminist scholarship on sexual violence and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in national action plans. Implementation mechanisms, monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement measures, and accomplishments and shortfalls are discussed.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article examine les efforts déployés par la Sierra Léone pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles dans le cadre de son plan d’action national (SILNAP), instauré en 2010 et visant à mettre en œuvre la résolution 1325 de l’ONU. Il examine deux éléments du triptyque portant sur la protection des femmes et des petites filles contre les violences sexuelles et sexistes et la prévention de la violence sexuelle par le renforcement des droits juridiques des femmes et le soutien aux initiatives de paix prises par des groupes locaux de femmes. En dépit des mesures législatives et de l’action militante des organisations non gouvernementales féminines, les efforts visant à promouvoir l’égalité des sexes et à réduire les violences institutionnalisées affectant les femmes dans leur vie quotidienne restent limités. Les principaux facteurs expliquant cette situation sont la non-prise en compte des inégalités structurelles, telles que la pauvreté, l’analphabétisme, les disparités de revenus, la violence contre les femmes dans la sphère privée et publique, et le budget limité alloué à la mise en œuvre du plan. Cet article s’appuie sur des études féministes portant sur la violence sexuelle et la mise en œuvre de la résolution 1325 dans les plans d’action nationaux. Il examine les mécanismes d’application, de suivi, d’évaluation et de contrôle des mesures, ainsi que leurs réussites et leurs échecs.
 
SPANISH (CASTILIAN) ABSTRACT:
Este trabajo evalúa los esfuerzos para combatir la violencia sexual en Sierra Leona a través de su Plan de Acción Nacional (SILNAP) aprobado en 2010 para implementar la Resolución 1325 de la ONU. Examino los fundamentos dos y tres que se ocupan de la protección de las mujeres y niñas de la violencia sexual y de género y la prevención de la violencia contra las mujeres mediante el fortalecimiento de los derechos legales de las mujeres y el apoyo a las iniciativas de paz locales de las mujeres. A pesar de las medidas legislativas y el activismo sostenido por organizaciones no gubernamentales de mujeres, los esfuerzos para promover la igualdad de género y reducir la violencia institucionalizada afectando la vida cotidiana de las mujeres son limitadas. No tomar en cuenta las desigualdades estructurales, como la pobreza, el analfabetismo, las desigualdades de ingresos, la violencia contra las mujeres en los ámbitos público y privado, y la limitada asignación de presupuesto para implementar el plan son factores que contribuyen. El estudio es informado por estudios feministas sobre la violencia sexual y la aplicación de la Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas en planes de acción nacionales. Discuto mecanismos de implementación, monitoreo, evaluación y medidas de ejecución, así como los logros y deficiencias.

Keywords: peace-building, sexual violence, Sierra Leone, UNSCR 1325, women's political activism, Militantisme politique féminin, promotion de la paix, RCSNU 1325, violence sexuelle, Activismo político de mujeres, consolidación de la paz, Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, violencia sexual

Topics: Domestic Violence, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, International Organizations, NGOs, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2016

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