Gender Violence and Gender Justice in Liberia
Following fourteen years of a brutal civil war, high rates of gender-based violence continued in the post-conflict period. Because gender-based violence is an impediment to economic and political development it became a priority issue for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her first term. In 2008 IDN partnered with The Carter Center to form a working group on gender-based violence in Liberia. Pamela Scully, Professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and African Studies, was part of the Working Group and has since then focused her research on how gender has shaped post-conflict transitions and humanitarian interventions in Liberia.
IDN worked with Professor Scully, its institutional partners at Emory University and its in-country partners in the Liberian government and civil society to organize a series of workshops and conferences to engage experts in multidisciplinary discussions on legal and policy issues that impact women’s rights and the security of women. These initiatives explored the status of women before, during and after the conflict in Liberia to better understand the role of gender violence in conflict, and to assess how local realities and values can best be integrated into the development of gender justice reform.
Our focus on gender-based violence in Liberia has had an impact on research and teaching. Professor Scully has published numerous articles on gender violence and transitional justice in Liberia and edited a special issue of The Journal of Peacekeeping and Development focused on gender violence. She has also advised numerous graduate students who are researching related issues. Her current book project focuses on gender and humanitarian interventions in Liberia.