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Sierra Leone

The Social Reintegration of Women: Reconstructing Womanhood and Moving Past Post-Conflict in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Holt-Rusmore, Evarosa Thalia. 2009. “The Social Reintegration of Women: Reconstructing Womanhood and Moving Past Post-Conflict in Sierra Leone.” Berkeley Undergraduate Journal 22 (1): 1–34.

Author: Evarosa Thalia Holt-Rusmore

Abstract:

Because post-conflict contexts are highly complex, the ways in which women both fit within accepted modern discourses of development and maneuver through more traditional systems of development and reconstruction are not fully understood. In Sierra Leone this dynamic is particularly true because of the small size of the population and the extended length of the conflict. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, transnational interventions have been highlighted as having successful programs that have been key in increasing stability in the country. Using the framework of women’s reintegration successes, this research aims to show that much of the stability in the country can also be attributed to linkages between past socio-cultural and political practices and institutions. This research shows that these linkages are spaces of strategic manipulation which women use to increase their economic and social standing. I argue that these manipulations between discourses and practices of the past, the present, and the proposed future have contributed to new ways of identity formation for women in Sierra Leone. Explorations in secondary data and theory pertaining to gendered social transformation in post-conflict settings are further informed by two months of intensive fieldwork using ethnographic research methods of participant observation and informal interviews in Sierra Leone in the summer of 2008.

Keywords: Sierra Leone, identity formation, post-conflict, development

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Sierra Leone: The Proving Ground for Prosecuting Rape as a War Crime

Citation:

Eaton, Shana. 2004. “Sierra Leone: The Proving Ground for Prosecuting Rape as a War Crime.” Georgetown Journal of International Law 35 (4): 873–919.

Author: Shana Eaton

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2004

Gender Transformations in War and Peace: The Sierra Leone Experience

Citation:

Ibrahim, Aisha Fofana. 2009. “Gender Transformations in War and Peace: The Sierra Leone Experience.” In Gendering Global Transformations: Gender, Culture, Race and Identity, edited by Chima J. Korieh and Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika, 185–200. New York: Routledge.

Author: Aisha Fofana Ibrahim

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Peace Processes, Race, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Prevalence of HIV Infection in Conflict-affected and Displaced People in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries: a Systematic Review

Citation:

Spiegel, Paul B., Anne R. Bennedsen, Johanna Claass, Laurie Bruns, Njogu Patterson, Dieudonne Yiweza, and Marian Schilperoord. 2007. “Prevalence of HIV Infection in Conflict-affected and Displaced People in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries: a Systematic Review.” Lancet 369 (9580): 2187–95.

Authors: Paul B. Spiegel, Anne R. Bennedsen, Johanna Claass, Laurie Bruns, Njogu Patterson, Dieudonne Yiweza, Marian Schilperoord

Abstract:

Violence and rape are believed to fuel the HIV epidemic in countries affected by conflict. We compared HIV prevalence in populations directly affected by conflict with that in those not directly affected and in refugees versus the nearest surrounding host communities in sub-Saharan African countries. Seven countries affected by conflict (Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Burundi) were chosen since HIV prevalence surveys within the past 5 years had been done and data, including original antenatal-care sentinel surveillance data, were available. We did a systematic and comprehensive literature search using Medline and Embase. Only articles and reports that contained original data for prevalence of HIV infection were included. All survey reports were independently evaluated by two epidemiologists to assess internationally accepted guidelines for HIV sentinel surveillance and population-based surveys. Whenever possible, data from the nearest antenatal care and host country sentinel site of the neighbouring countries were presented. 95% CIs were provided when available. Of the 295 articles that met our search criteria, 88 had original prevalence data and 65 had data from the seven selected countries. Data from these countries did not show an increase in prevalence of HIV infection during periods of conflict, irrespective of prevalence when conflict began. Prevalence in urban areas affected by conflict decreased in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda at similar rates to urban areas unaffected by conflict in their respective countries. Prevalence in conflict-affected rural areas remained low and fairly stable in these countries. Of the 12 sets of refugee camps, nine had a lower prevalence of HIV infection, two a similar prevalence, and one a higher prevalence than their respective host communities. Despite wide-scale rape in many countries, there are no data to show that rape increased prevalence of HIV infection at the population level. We have shown that there is a need for mechanisms to provide time-sensitive information on the effect of conflict on incidence of HIV infection, since we found insufficient data to support the assertions that conflict, forced displacement, and wide-scale rape increase prevalence or that refugees spread HIV infection in host communities.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Health, HIV/AIDS, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2007

Girl Soldiers and Human Rights: Lessons from Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda

Citation:

Denov, Myriam. 2008. “Girl Soldiers and Human Rights: Lessons from Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda.” International Journal of Human Rights 12 (5): 813–36.

Author: Myriam Denov

Abstract:

The issue of child soldiers has become an issue of global concern. More than 250,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in over 40 countries around the world. While there is ample descriptive evidence of the conditions and factors underlying the rise of child soldiery in the developing world, most of the literature has portrayed this as a uniquely male phenomenon, ultimately neglecting the experiences and perspectives of girls within fighting forces. Drawing upon the findings of three studies funded by the Canadian International Development Agency's Child Protection Research Fund, this paper traces the perspectives and experiences of girls as victims and participants of violence and armed conflict in Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Northern Uganda. The three studies collectively reveal three salient themes. First, whether in the heat of conflict or within post-war programming, girls are, for the most part, rendered invisible and marginalised. Second, in spite of this profound invisibility and marginalisation, girls are fundamental to the war machine—their operational contributions are integral and critical to the overall functioning of armed groups. Third, girls in fighting forces contend with overwhelming experiences of victimisation, perpetration, and insecurity. In the aftermath of conflict, girls arguably bear a form of secondary victimisation through socio-economic marginalisation and exclusion, as well as the ongoing threats to their health and personal security.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2008

“We’ll Kill You If You Cry”: Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict

Citation:

Taylor, Louise. 2003. “We’ll Kill You If You Cry”: Sexual Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Author: Louise Taylor

Abstract:

The 75-page report, “'We’ll Kill You If You Cry:' Sexual Violence in the  Sierra Leone Conflict,” presents evidence of horrific abuses against women and girls in every region of the country by the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), as well as other rebel, government and international peacekeeping forces. The Human Rights Watch report, which is based on hundreds of interviews with victims, witnesses and officials, details crimes of sexual violence committed primarily by soldiers of various rebel forces—the RUF, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and the West Side Boys. The report also examines sexual violence by government forces and militias, as well as international peacekeepers.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Women, Girls, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militaries, Militias, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2003

The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Challenging the Tradition of Impunity for Gender-Based Crimes?

Citation:

Damgaard, Ciara. 2004. “The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Challenging the Tradition of Impunity for Gender-Based Crimes?” Nordic Journal of International Law 73 (4): 485–503.

Author: Ciara Damgaard

Abstract:

The focus of this article is the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the extent to which it can be said that the Special Court has already challenged, or will, in the future, challenge the tradition of impunity for gender-based crimes. In this regard, an analysis is undertaken of the Special Court’s Statute, Rules of Procedure and Evidence and practice to date, in order to determine its treatment of gender-based crimes and whether it can be said that the Special Court for Sierra Leone challenges the tradition of impunity for gender-based crimes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Impunity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2004

'Doing Gender’ After the War: Dealing with Gender Mainstreaming and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peace Support Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Citation:

Nduka-Agwu, Adibeli. 2009. “‘Doing Gender’ After the War: Dealing with Gender Mainstreaming and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peace Support Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.” Civil Wars 11 (2): 179–99. doi:10.1080/13698240802631087.

Author: Adibeli Nduka-Agwu

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Wartime Sexual Violence: Assessing a Human Security Response to War-Affected Girls in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Denov, Myriam. 2006. “Wartime Sexual Violence: Assessing a Human Security Response to War-Affected Girls in Sierra Leone.” Security Dialogue 37 (3): 319–42.

Author: Myriam Denov

Abstract:

Wartime sexual violence continues to be widespread and systematic in contemporary conflicts. Although the problem is gaining increasing international attention, it has remained, for the most part, peripheral within the domain of security studies. However, the human security agenda may have the capacity to raise the profile of wartime sexual violence and offer a useful framework from which to understand and respond to the unique needs of war-affected girls and women. This article explores the capacity of the human security agenda, both conceptually and practically, to address the plight of girl victims of sexual violence in the aftermath of Sierra Leone’s conflict. Drawing upon the perspectives and experiences of three girls formerly associated with Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front, the article traces the extreme forms of sexual violence and insecurity girls were forced to endure, both during and following the conflict. It also examines a number of human security efforts implemented in the conflict’s aftermath and their impact on the level of empowerment, protection and security of girls. The broader implications of these human security efforts are explored in light of the girls’ lived realities in post-conflict Sierra Leone.

Keywords: sexual violence, human security, girls, war, Sierra Leone

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2006

Lost in Translation? UNAMSIL, UNSCR 1325 and Women Building Peace in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Barnes, Karen. 2010. “Lost in Translation? UNAMSIL, UNSCR 1325 and Women Building Peace in Sierra Leone.” In Women, Peace and Security: Translating Policy into Practice, edited by Funmi Olonisakin, Karen Barnes, and Eka Ikpe, 121-37. New York: Routledge.

Author: Karen Barnes

Topics: Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

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