Women and post-conflict development : a case study on Liberia
Author(s)Massaquoi, William N
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Liberia seems an ostensible 'poster child' in light of the call by women's rights advocates to insert women in all aspects of the political, social, and economic transition in post-conflict countries. Liberia has elected the first female African President and women head the strategic government ministries of Finance, Justice, Commerce, Gender, Youth and Sports and National Police. Women also helped to secure an end to fourteen years of civil war. Pressured by women, the National Legislature has.passed a revised law against rape and a Devolution of Estate Act granting women in customary marriages the rights to own property and to take custody of their children. While acknowledging these remarkable contributions, I argue that reliance on these successes of the women's movement in the last several years is not enough to produce the kinds of changes that will bring economic benefits to ordinary women. I argue that the women's movement plurality neither ensures an automatic and equal representation for all women nor is it an all-encompassing movement for sudden empowerment for all or for equalizing life chances and opportunities. I then argue that what is needed is a developmental state that ensures a rights-based approach to state building. Without a social policy that protects at the least those whose subsistence have been decimated by the civil war, condition for sustained peace may be eroded. Assuring poor women a modicum of economic welfare is a legitimate goal. And a rights-based approach to state building gives poor women control over all areas of their daily existence and put pressure on the state to be accountable for such obligations.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (p. 126-134).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.