Human Rights Frameworks and Women's Rights in Post-Transitional Justice Sierra Leone


Lahai, John Idriss, and Nenneh Lahai. 2018. "Human Rights Frameworks and Women's Rights in Post-Transitional Justice Sierra Leone." In Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice, edited by John Idriss Lahai and Khanyisela Moyo, 143-74. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: John Idriss Lahai, Nenneh Lahai


The end of transitional justice in Sierra Leone coincided with an increase in women’s human rights activism. Reasons for this included an increase in the level of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and the ineffectiveness and insensitivity of the human rights laws of the country. To the women’s rights activists, SGBV and its associated inequalities before the law, irrespective of the context, were incompatible with the universal tenets of human rights. Within the purview of feminist legal theory, women’s rights were understood to be not just about the codification of rights and responsibilities (see Bunch, 1995; Manjoo, 2012; Quraishi, 2011), but also about recognizing the familial, social, cultural, political, and economic ramifications of gender inequality on the incidence of violence and discrimination experienced by women who seek redress from, or are in conflict with, the law (Banda & Joffe, 2016; Lockwood, 2006; Reilly, 2009). This theory also understands, in context-neutral terms, women’s rights to be about the reconfiguration of the institutions and policies created to protect the inalienable rights and agency of women.

Keywords: human rights, transitional justice, violence against women (VAW), Sierra Leone Police, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2018

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