Liberia's Gender-Sensitive Police Reform: Improving Representation and Responsiveness in a Post-Conflict Setting


Bacon, Laura. 2015. "Liberia's Gender-Sensitive Police Reform: Improving Representation and Responsiveness in a Post-Conflict Setting." International Peacekeeping 22 (4): 372-97.

Author: Laura Bacon


This article presents a case study from Liberia that focuses on the relationship between police reform and women, peace and security. It explores the Liberia National Police's (LNP) innovative efforts between 2003 and 2013 to recruit more female officers and to train a specialized unit to address sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV). The analysis focuses on two key goals of the LNP: representation, through the Education Support Programme, and responsiveness, through the Women and Children's Protection Section. Assessed by these two metrics, the Liberian police reform can be considered a qualified success, as the percentage of female officers rose from 2 to 17 per cent, and the LNP improved its response to SGBV reports. Success factors included the timing, context, local ownership and foreign development assistance. However, the sustainability and overall impact of the reforms was severely hindered by low technical capacity and weak rule of law.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Peace and Security, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2015

© 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