Gender and Security in Post-Conflict Peace-Building: A Pilot Study of the Concept of Security in Post-Conflict Liberia


Medie, Peace. 2009. “Gender and Security in Post-Conflict Peace-Building: A Pilot Study of the Concept of Security in Post-Conflict Liberia.” Paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, New York, February 15.

Author: Peace Medie


In most post-conflict states, threats to the security of individuals remain high and women are especially vulnerable. Although efforts have been made to understand post-conflict (in)security as it relates to gender, the experiences of women have not been fully studied. This study attempts to fill this gap by asking the questions: what constitutes security for women in Liberia and what are the threats to their security. Interviews conducted reveal that rape and sexual violence committed during armed robberies are the most pressing threats to women’s security. The findings also underscore economic insecurity as a principal concern of Liberian women and a strong determinant of how they are affected by Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The findings also reveal that gender is the identity that most strongly determines how women experience (in)security. This paper argues that there is the need to further probe the relationship between women’s identities and their experience of post-conflict (in)security. There is also the need to examine the relationship between armed robbery and rape, to determine if the threats that they pose to women should be tackled within an economic or a women’s-rights lens. Finally, this study recommends a strengthening and gendering of public safety infrastructures, and the economic empowerment of women in post-conflict Liberia.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2009

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