Women and Men in Partnership for Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Women and Men in Partnership for Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Report of the Sierra Leone National Consultation, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 21–24 May 2001 You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Linda Etchart, Rawwida Baksh-Soodeen
01 Jan 2002
Pages:
202
ISBN:
9781848598089 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848598089-en

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Following a decade of armed conflict that led to the virtual collapse of the country’s social, economic, legal and political fabric, the Sierra Leone National Consultation on Women and Men in Partnership for Post-Conflict Reconstruction, held in Freetown in May 2001, brought together 250 people from governmental and non-governmental organisations to discuss ways in which the war has impacted differently on women, children and men and how best to ensure gender equality in all reconstruction efforts. The papers in this report examine the following issues from a gender perspective:

political and public decision-making
security and peace-building
legal reform
violence and other crimes against women and children
poverty, economic recovery and empowerment
health, HIV/AIDS and STIs
settlement of displaced persons and rehabilitation of ex-combatants
the role of young people in post-conflict reconstruction.
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  • Mark Click to Access
  • Abbreviations
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Introduction

    The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states bound by common historical experiences, common values and principles. These were first formulated in Singapore in 1971, reaffirmed in Harare in 1991 and strengthened in Millbrook in 1995.

  • Consultation Recommendations
  • National Plan of Action
  • Rebuilding Democracy, Peace and Security

    Since 1991, Sierra Leone has been in the firm grip of an armed civil conflict characterised by savagery and brutality of the most primitive and inhuman kind. In spite of a huge concentration of effort on the peace process in Sierra Leone by the international community, which complements the domestic effort of the government and civil society, resolution of the conflict has been notoriously elusive. As the conflict enters a second decade, with a relieving lull in hostilities and hope for peace and resolution of the crisis, it is imperative to examine how the political structures, practices and values that held us together collapsed and generated the conflict, and how these can be reconstructed to provide a foundation for rebuilding sustainable democracy and peace in post-conflict Sierra Leone. It is equally important that this rebuilding process be undertaken within the context of partnership between men and women as the gateway to the creation of peace and democratic culture

  • Human Rights and Legal reform

    One of the greatest obstacles to the development of a country is the little recognition that is given to the role and worth of a woman in her community and in her country as a whole. Her traditional role is seen to be inferior to that of the man and she is still typecast as mother and homemaker. In times of conflict and crisis, however, her role undergoes a dramatic and significant change. Often she is forced to become the sole breadwinner and the person who has to make all the major decisions in order to protect her family.

  • Violence against Women and Children

    Violence against women and children is a universal problem which violates their fundamental human rights in peacetime as well as in conflict situations; violence usually has a tremendous impact on the basic wellbeing of a community.

  • The Resettlement of Displaced Civilians and Resettlement/Rehabilitation of Ex-combatants

    The 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone inflicted death on more than 25,000 and caused the internal displacement of more than 1.2 million people. A n estimated 500,000 people fled Sierra Leone into neighbouring countries. The war has resulted in the devastation of the economy and the destruction and debilitation of houses, infrastructure and basic services in both rural and urban communities.

  • Poverty, Economic Recovery and Empowerment

    There are compelling reasons why poverty eradication, economic recovery and empowerment should be of immeasurable concern to the government and people of Sierra Leone at this time in our socioeconomic and political development. Poverty dehumanises people and makes them lose their self-esteem, self-respect and dignity. Economic recovery and empowerment are needed to enlarge peoples choices and provide opportunities to realise their full potential.

  • Gender Issues in Health, HIV/AIDS and STIs

    Health is increasingly being seen as one of the cornerstones and prerequisites of economic growth and development. As the saying goes 'Health may not be everything, but without health there is nothing'. The health status of the population has a prominent place in the cycle of poverty and degradation that characterises Sierra Leone a decade after the war began. This cycle can only be broken if people can achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of health that will permit them to lead economically productive lives.

  • Gender Issues in Education, Training and Employment

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the arm of government charged with the responsibility of providing education for the people of Sierra Leone.

  • The Role of Young Women and Men in Post-conflict Reconstruction

    I wish to share the South African experience in relation to the role of young people i n society and in particular to the role of young people in post-conflict reconstruction. In 1976 when I was in my second year of school, the townships erupted in flames. It was the first visible sign of youth protest. There was a sense that it was young people who were resisting apartheid education and refusing to be subjugated, and who took to the streets in large numbers. The decade from 1976 to 1986 was marked by considerable conflict and confrontation between young people and the state. Those of you who know something about South African politics would agree that it was also a time when the state (the white government) and the black community were in frequent clashes, but what we understood was that the struggle for power was around race.

  • Capacity-building, Coordination and Networking

    I wish to give some thought to the concept of capacity-building in depth because it relates to coordination and networking.

  • Annexes
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