Female Soldiers in Sierra LeoneSex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Female Soldiers in Sierra LeoneSex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development

Megan H. MacKenzie

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780814761373

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

The eleven-year civil war in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002 was incomprehensibly brutal—it is estimated that half of all female refugees were raped and many thousands were killed. While the publicity surrounding sexual violence helped to create a general picture of women and girls as victims of the conflict, there has been little effort to understand female soldiers' involvement in, and experience of, the conflict. This book draws on interviews with seventy-five former female soldiers and over twenty local experts, providing a rare perspective on both the civil war and post-conflict development efforts in the country. It argues that post-conflict reconstruction is a highly gendered process, demonstrating that a clear recognition and understanding of the roles and experiences of female soldiers are central to both understanding the conflict and to crafting effective policy for the future.