Conjugal Order and Insecurity Post-Conflict
This introductory chapter argues that female soldiers are perhaps one of the most underrepresented categories of “war-affected” citizens. In Sierra Leone—the book's case example—stories of conflict, reflected in the literature, media accounts, and international nongovernmental organization (INGO) and nongovernmental organization (NGO) reports, largely omit the participation of female soldiers. Narratives tend to focus on violent men being disarmed. These depictions of conflict stood in stark contrast to the narratives of the individuals interviewed in the country. Local social and aid workers, government officials, volunteers, and leaders of women's organizations uncovered alternative versions of the war and of the post-armed conflict period; these consistently featured female soldiers. Female soldiers dislocate predictable and simplistic gendered representations of war: they displace the typical characterization of an “African rebel” as well as perceptions about disempowered and victimized African women.
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