Gender Mainstreaming Unraveled: The Case of DDRR in Liberia


Basini, Helen S.A. 2013. “Gender Mainstreaming Unraveled: The Case of DDRR in Liberia.” International Interactions 39 (4): 535–57.

Author: Helen S.A. Basini


In the past women have been excluded from peace initiatives. However, with the advent of UNSCR 1325 (2000) women's agency in the process has been heightened through a new framework for involvement. UNSCR 1325 is a policy document that acknowledges the link between women, peace, and security and uses gender mainstreaming as a mechanism to implement its objectives. Yet in spite of its policy advancements, over a decade later women still do not participate equally in peace and security initiatives that impact on the sustainability of peace. This article aims to explore the context of this framework through considerations of the gender mainstreaming provision in the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDRR) process in Liberia. Using interviews with women associated with fighting forces (WAFFs)/ex-combatants the article argues that although there was a specific targeted focus showing some gender responsive design and coordination, WAFFs’/ex-combatants’ unique needs, especially those of a social and psychological nature, were poorly addressed. In addition, the commentary shows that the focus did not attend to structural inequality issues such as sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).

Keywords: DDR, ex-combatant, gender mainstreaming, Liberia, UNSCR 1325, women associated with fighting forces

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2013

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