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From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone

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Abstract:

Maintaining security in a post-conflict country is often seen to be dependant on peace-building and reconstruction. One can hardly escape terms such as ?building sustainable peace? and ?post-conflict construction.? The ?disarmament,? ?demobilization,? ?reintegration,? and ?rehabilitation,? or DDR-R process for former combatants is being touted as an ideal model for ensuring that post-conflict societies return to peace. These ?four simple steps to lasting security? have been used as a model in war torn countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. The logic is that these steps aid in restoring countries to more secure, stable times. More specifically, this model streamlines former combatants from ?soldiers to citizens.? Given that the task of this process is to encourage combatants to shed their roles as fighters and to return to their former pre-war roles, it seems intuitive that the way that women and girls go through this process is of particular interest. In fact, despite the ascendancy of this DDR-R model, there has been little critical analysis of the implications of this process for women in war-torn countries. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, I explore how women and girls have been included and treated at each phase of this process. I look specifically at the tendency of organizations and agencies operating DDR-R programs to promote a ?return? of women and girls to their pre-war roles and the tension that women and girls feel between the power they gained as combatants and the social pressure to ?reintegrate.? I also examine the implications, for women and girls, of international and national organizations? commitment to equating security with the return to pre-war society rather than rethinking relations of power. I include testimonies from 50 former girl soldiers who talk about their roles during the conflict and their hopes for themselves today.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

women (151), conflict (99), develop (54), girl (50), soldier (44), role (44), men (44), natur (40), post (39), secur (38), process (37), polit (36), post-conflict (36), sierra (34), famili (33), leon (33), war (31), reintegr (30), ddr (30), combat (28), program (27),
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Association:
Name: International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention
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http://www.isanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p179242_index.html
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MLA Citation:

MacKenzie, Megan. "From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention, Hilton Chicago, CHICAGO, IL, USA, Feb 28, 2007 <Not Available>. 2016-06-08 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p179242_index.html>

APA Citation:

MacKenzie, M. H. , 2007-02-28 "From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention, Hilton Chicago, CHICAGO, IL, USA Online <PDF>. 2016-06-08 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p179242_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Maintaining security in a post-conflict country is often seen to be dependant on peace-building and reconstruction. One can hardly escape terms such as ?building sustainable peace? and ?post-conflict construction.? The ?disarmament,? ?demobilization,? ?reintegration,? and ?rehabilitation,? or DDR-R process for former combatants is being touted as an ideal model for ensuring that post-conflict societies return to peace. These ?four simple steps to lasting security? have been used as a model in war torn countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. The logic is that these steps aid in restoring countries to more secure, stable times. More specifically, this model streamlines former combatants from ?soldiers to citizens.? Given that the task of this process is to encourage combatants to shed their roles as fighters and to return to their former pre-war roles, it seems intuitive that the way that women and girls go through this process is of particular interest. In fact, despite the ascendancy of this DDR-R model, there has been little critical analysis of the implications of this process for women in war-torn countries. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, I explore how women and girls have been included and treated at each phase of this process. I look specifically at the tendency of organizations and agencies operating DDR-R programs to promote a ?return? of women and girls to their pre-war roles and the tension that women and girls feel between the power they gained as combatants and the social pressure to ?reintegrate.? I also examine the implications, for women and girls, of international and national organizations? commitment to equating security with the return to pre-war society rather than rethinking relations of power. I include testimonies from 50 former girl soldiers who talk about their roles during the conflict and their hopes for themselves today.


Similar Titles:
Gender Equality, Security, and Development in Post-Conflict Reconstruction

The Persistence of Gender Roles in Post-divorce Families: Family composition, Work-family Conflict and Coping


 
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