Gender and Conflict in Sierra Leone

Gender and Conflict in Sierra Leone

The case of Sierra Leone is used to demonstrate that women as survivors of war have special needs and perspectives that must be taken into account in the post-conflict process.

The burden of preserving the social order during conflicts often weighs on women. Women as survivors of war have special needs and perspectives that must be taken into account and incorporated into mechanisms of post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building. In the case of Sierra Leone, rural women experienced major changes to their lives, They often became heads of households and victims of sexual assaults, coped with unwanted pregnancies and lived in refugee camps with no provision for their gender-specific needs. A large number of women and girls were also abducted by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels to meet the domestic and sexual needs of the soldiers. Their endured all sorts of abuses. A study of the situation of rural women during the conflict and of the living conditions of ex-RUF women would be valuable to understand the changes that have occurred in their lives and serve as a basis for relevant social and economic programming.

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