Women's Perspectives on War and Peace in Sierra Leone

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Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology

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As part of an effort to bring women’s voices into public dialogue on armed conflict and peace, the current research explores how women address issues at different levels of the conflict context in terms of responsibility for the Sierra Leonean civil war and the subsequent peace process. An adaptation of the Listening Guide method (Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2003) was used to analyze narrative material gathered from eight Sierra Leonean women. This analysis produced 4 emergent categories through which women communicated their views on the civil war and peacebuilding priorities. The categories were interpreted based on the Integrated Framework for Peacebuilding (Lederach, 1997) to illustrate how women’s perspectives inform peacebuilding. Results support calls to integrate women’s perspectives into mainstream peace processes by illustrating how these women informed issues important for society as a whole at each level of the conflict context, ranging from concrete needs in the immediate aftermath of war to more remote problematic social forces organizing the structure of society.



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