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6 Liberia’S Women Acting For Peace: Collective Action In A War-Affected Country

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the historical and socio-political factors that have facilitated the emergence of the women?s peace movement in Liberia, which has been credited with the election of the first female African head of state. It highlights specifics of the country?s settler history, of autochthonous/indigenous constellations of gender relations, and precursors of women?s collective action. Special attention is devoted to the role of the international community and the national government in shaping the structure of political opportunities, allowing for the emergence, maintenance and transformation of the movement. After the outbreak of civil war at the beginning of the 1990s, Liberia witnessed the formation of a number of women?s organizations. The Association of Female Lawyers in Liberia (AFELL), the Mano River Union Women Peace Network (MARWOPNET), and the Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) are among the most influential and visible organizations.

Keywords: AFELL; civil war; international community; Liberia; MARWOPNET; Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET); women?s peace movement



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