Working Paper 130

The (Re-) Conceptualisation of Women in Gendered International Interventions: examples from post-war Sierra Leone

Anita Schroven

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’

Year of publication

Number of pages

Working Paper 130

International agencies implement programmes to assist the so-called transition of countries from war to peace, applying international policies that aim at social changes. The focus of this paper lies on the Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Programme (DDR) as the manifestation of this idea of transition in Sierra Leone. It investigates how global discourses of women and gender are translated into this programme and interact with local constructions of combatants, particularly female fighters, and the gendered conceptualisations of war and peace. As opposed to ‘international’ conceptualisations of women as inherently peaceful, evidence from Sierra Leone reveals that women acted in various ways that do not match the presumably separate spheres of women and men and those of war and peace. This raises questions about the effect of international campaigns to promote women’s participation in war-to-peace transitions as an instrument for peace-building.

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