"Ellen Is Our Man:" Perceptions of Gender in Postconflict Liberian Politics


Garnett, Tanya Ansahta. 2016. “‘Ellen Is Our Man:’ Perceptions of Gender in Postconflict Liberian Politics.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (1): 99–118. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1125648.

Author: Tanya Ansahta Garnett


This article examines the nature of shifting gender roles in Liberia's postconflict reconstruction process. Specifically, it investigates the ways in which political authority is gendered and the agency that women in politics employ to justify their participation as they attempt to reduce gender inequalities at the institutional level. I argue that the intervention of the international community has been instrumental in providing space and resources for gender mainstreaming, however in the absence of more in-depth intersectional analyses of gender dynamics, the unintended consequences of peacebuilding policies could hinder the sustainability of long-term peace. This article is based on a qualitative research country study conducted by the author in rural and urban Liberia following the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. A discussion of key findings is exemplified with excerpts from key informant interviews and focus group discussions that seek to give voice to a cross-section of Liberians, so that they can contribute to the ongoing debate on gender mainstreaming in postconflict societies and bridge the gap between local and international discourses.

Keywords: Liberia, Gender, postconflict, women;s political representation, peacebuilding

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.