Bush Wives and Girl Soldiers Women's Lives Through War and Peace in Sierra Leone

ISBN-10: 0801475120
ISBN-13: 9780801475122
Edition: 2009
Authors: Chris Coulter
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Description: During the war in Sierra Leone (1991–2002), members of various rebel movements kidnapped thousands of girls and women, some of whom came to take an active part in the armed conflict alongside the rebels. In a stunning look at the life of women in  More...

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Book details

List price: $43.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 8/1/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.20" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

During the war in Sierra Leone (1991–2002), members of various rebel movements kidnapped thousands of girls and women, some of whom came to take an active part in the armed conflict alongside the rebels. In a stunning look at the life of women in wartime, Chris Coulter draws on interviews with more than a hundred women to bring us inside the rebel camps in Sierra Leone. When these girls and women returned to their home villages after the cessation of hostilities, their families and peers viewed them with skepticism and fear, while humanitarian organizations saw them primarily as victims. Neither view was particularly helpful in helping them resume normal lives after the war. Offering lessons for policymakers, practitioners, and activists, Coulter shows how prevailing notions of gender, both in home communities and among NGO workers, led, for instance, to women who had taken part in armed conflict being bypassed in the demilitarization and demobilization processes carried out by the international community in the wake of the war. Many of these women found it extremely difficult to return to their families, and, without institutional support, some were forced to turn to prostitution to eke out a living. Coulter weaves several themes through the work, including the nature of gender roles in war, livelihood options in war and peace, and how war and postwar experiences affect social and kinship relations.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Decade of War-Centuries of Uncertainty
Gendered Lives in Rural Sierra Leone
Abduction and Everyday Rebel Life
From Rape Victims to Female Fighters
Reconciliation or Revenge
Surviving the Postwar Economy
Coming Home-Domesticating the Bush
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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