Women Equality In The Civil War

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Sierra Leone’s civil war, which lasted from 1991-2002, both intensified and brought to light the many challenges that women face. Throughout the war, women endured both physical and mental abuse and were often treated as subordinate to men. Since the end of Sierra Leone’s civil war, there have been many efforts to improve women’s rights. Although progress has been made in areas such as education, economic equality, and healthcare, there is still a disparity in gender equality. During the war, violence against women and children was the cornerstone of the Rebel United Force’s (RUF) plots. However, violence against women and children became an issue on both sides of the fight. Even opposers of the RUF used violence against women as a strategic tactic; most women who entered the war did so because they were abducted. Many women who fought with the RUF acted as captive “wives” of soldiers and had jobs handing out weapons, food, and valuables stolen from villages. However, unbeknownst to their male commanders, many women used the control they had over food and stolen money to prevent young boys and men from abusing girls (2). The women of Sierra Leone have long been exposed to appalling violations of their human rights, especially during the civil war. “During this extremely brutal conflict an estimated 275,000 women and girls became victims of sexual violence. Massive sexual violence was used not only to sow terror among the civilian population; it further served military
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