Assessing the Integration of Gender Issues into Security Reforms in Sierra Leone (2002-2007)


Barnes, Karen. 2011. “Assessing the Integration of Gender Issues into Security Reforms in Sierra Leone (2002-2007).” Paper presented at International Studies Association Annual Conference, Montreal, Quebec, March 16-19.

Author: Karen Barnes


The reform of security institutions has gathered momentum within peacebuilding processes over the past decade, and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and justice and security sector reform (JSSR) are increasingly seen as means of ensuring a transparent, accountable and democratic security sector in conflict-affected contexts. However, these processes tend to focus on the national-level and are implemented in a top-down manner with little input from stakeholders at the local level, and gender-differentiated security needs are rarely acknowledged and integrated into peacebuilding programming. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, this paper will assess the efforts to integrate gender into the DDR, SSR and justice reform processes during the peacebuilding process from 2002-2007. The paper will argue that women were not perceived to be part of the process of establishing security in Sierra Leone and were depoliticised into the private sphere. As a result, the security reforms did not necessarily meet their needs, and gender issues have not been addressed in the post-conflict phase.

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2011

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