Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gender Policy and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Liberia: A Case Study
by Florescu, Gina Christensen, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2010, 74; 10305780
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis contributes to the debate on gender policy and development in post-conflict countries. Specifically it addresses how gender policy in Liberia, which is intended to establish equality, fails to protect women from extreme personal violence.

This case study is the product of a profound interest in the paradox of converging indicators in Liberia: the only female head of state in Africa, a firm commitment to gender policy, an international community that is helping to finance, implement and rebuild, and the encouraging agency of Liberian women who banded together to bring about peace. However, this is set against a backdrop of extremely high rates of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) perpetrated against women and children.

Through interviews and desk research links were established between gender policy, justice reform, social attitudes and masculinity that trend towards a backlash against women. The thesis begins with a contextual overview of a country devastated by fourteen years of civil conflict. It then examines the current state of SGBV in the post war setting, exposes a legal system unable to overcome a lack of capacity and resource to reform the rule of law allowing impunity for SGBV crimes, challenges poorly implemented policy which may be leading to perverse consequences and looks at the misunderstood role of masculinity.

It concludes by recommending that gender policies detached from development policies should be reconceptualized to instead focus on tangible and measurable gains for women in terms of increased security and well being.

Key words: Gender, Policy, Conflict, Masculinity, and SGBV.

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Relations and Conflict Resolution
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Criminology, Public policy, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Keywords: Gender policy, Liberia, Masculinity, Sexual and gender-based violence
Publication Number: 10305780
ISBN: 978-1-369-49344-3
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