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Ola Osman

Ola Osman 2

Gates Cambridge International Scholarship

Where are they Now? Documenting the Reintegration Needs of Ex-Combatant Women in Liberia fifteen years after the civil war

Supervisor: Dr Holly Porter (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies) 

 

Abstract

This research project aims to investigate how ex-combatant Liberian women have fared in the areas of reintegration and participation in Liberian society fifteen years after the end of the civil war, which lasted from 1989-2003. While there is a robust body of scholarship that addresses how Liberian women contributed to the end of that country’s civil war, there is a dearth of literature documenting the ostracization of ex-combatant Liberian women who attempted to participate in that country’s demobilization, disarmament, and re-integration (DDR) program. Ex-combatant women have suffered losses in a post conflict context related to transgressing the foundational parameters of feminized expectations in a militarized, patriarchal society. However, little is known about how these women have negotiated their reintegration into Liberian society and the state of their lives today. This study seeks to document and analyze how stigmatized ex-combatant women negotiate gendered exclusions to find a place in Liberian society. Its purpose is knowledge contribution to how scholars, policy makers and activists may re-think or expand on approaches to the full re-integration of marginalized women based on their specific needs and lived experience.

Academic Background 

Oxford University 2019, MSt in Women’s Studies with Distinction (Clarendon Scholarship and Prince Sultan Scholarship) 

University of Western Ontario 2018, Honours Specialization in Women’s Studies

Publications

Osman, O., 2016. On Fictive Kinship and the Intra-Racial Politics of Truth Telling, Tulips, pp. 40-45.