1 School of Culture and Society - Interacting Minds (IMC), Centre for, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University2 School of Culture and Society - Interacting Minds (IMC), Centre for, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
In recent years, the field of transitional justice—originally rooted within the area of law—has gained recognition and input from a growing number of different disciplines (e.g., anthropology, politics, psychology). While this expansion has allowed the field to become more holistic it has also highlighted research gaps that remain unexplored—in particular women and their psychological needs during and after conflict (Brounéus, 2014; Cohn, 2013). It is this research gap that the current paper seeks to close as it calls attention to the group who feared marginalisation and ostracism the most in Liberia’s transitional justice efforts—namely, women and particularly female ex-combatants. The paper will, therefore, be based on a literature review which will draw its conclusions from existing research within the fields of anthropology, human security, peace & conflict studies, political sciences, and psychology. With regards to Liberian peacebuilding; this paper will argue for the necessity to balance juridical, political, cultural, social, and psychological needs in peacebuilding to achieve transformative justice—rather than transitional justice. Questions such as, “How were women neglected in peacebuilding in Liberia and how could this potentially leave peace unsustainable?” and, “What are the benefits of transformative justice?” will be discussed. By closely examining transformative justice and the needs of both former female perpetrators and victims, this paper will highlight the necessity to shed further light on the issue through future ethnographic fieldwork—which could eventually become highly relevant to the UN Security Resolution 1325.