Female Ex-Combatants, Empowerment, and Reintegration investigates the role of United Nations-led Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs in undermining female ex-combatants’ empowerment.
The participation of female combatants in conflict has increasingly been recognized in feminist literatures and in policies and programs concerned with reintegrating ex-combatants and building peace. This has illustrated that female ex-combatants often experience "empowerment" through their role as combatant; however, this empowerment is often lost upon reintegration. UN-led DDR plays an important role in the broader peacebuilding process, as it is one of the largest interventions and directly aims to reintegrate ex-combatants into civilian life. This book draws on extensive field research and interviews with female ex-combatants and DDR officials in Liberia and Nepal to develop a nuanced and comprehensive picture of female ex-combatants’ empowerment and how this is undermined by DDR. Through reconceptualized frameworks of empowerment and an emancipatory peace, the book explores the pivotal role that DDR programs play in undermining female ex-combatants’ empowerment. The author argues that this is detrimental to peacebuilding, because DDR officials and documentation narrate female ex-combatants in limited and gendered ways, which reproduces gendered inequalities and define how female ex-combatants should behave.
This book will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners working on gender, conflict, peace, security, and development.
Table of Contents
1. Shanti’s Story and Critical Feminist Peacebuilding
2. Liberal Peacebuilding, DDR, and Reintegration: Critical Feminist Peacebuilding Perspectives
3. Liberia and Nepal: The Contexts, Conflicts, and the Participation of Female Ex-Combatants
4. Empowerment: A Framework for Analysis
5. Empowerment of Female Combatants in Liberia and Nepal During Conflict
6. Reintegration and Empowerment of Female Ex-Combatants in Liberia and Nepal
7. Gendered Narratives in UN-led DDR
8. Towards an Emancipatory Peace
Michanne Steenbergen is an Associate Consultant at OC&C Strategy Consultants, UK. Prior to this, she was a Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, and completed her PhD at the University of Manchester, UK. She also volunteers as an International Liaison Coordinator at Interventions for Advocacy and Effective Community Engagements (IFACE), an NGO in Liberia.