Liberia's Women Veterans

War, Roles and Reintegration

Leena Vastapuu

Liberia's Women Veterans

Leena Vastapuu

Distributed for Zed Books

With Illustrations by Emmi Nieminen
320 pages | 6 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 3/4 | © 2018
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786990815 Published March 2018 For sale in North and South America only
The Liberian civil wars of the 1990s and 2000s were notorious for their atrocities, and for the widespread use of child soldiers by both sides. Young girls accounted for up to forty percent of these combatants, but their unique perspective and experiences have largely been excluded from accounts of the conflict.
In Liberia’s Woman Veterans, Leena Vastapuu uses an innovative “auto-photographic” methodology to tell the story of two of Africa’s most brutal civil wars through the eyes of 133 former female child soldiers. It allows the book to provide a palpable account of these women’s experiences of trauma and stigma. It also illustrates the challenges of reintegration into postwar society, as well as the women’s hopes and aspirations for the future. Vastapuu argues that these women, too often perceived merely as passive victims of the conflict, can in fact play an important role in postwar reconciliation and peace building. In the process, the work overturns gendered perceptions of warfare and militarism, and provides an exceptional take on postconflict societies.
Review Quotes
Annick T. R. Wibben, University of San Francisco
“A beautiful meditation on the ways in which young female veterans in Liberia navigate life after war. Employing a set of unique methodologies, Liberia’s Women Veterans will become a key text in its field.”
Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland
“Vastapuu not only offers a harrowing account of suffering as well as triumph over adversity, but also advances a truly innovative approach that makes this book highly relevant to a wide set of readers interested in questions of gender, violence, and politics.”
Mark A. Drumbl, Washington and Lee University
“Vastapuu makes a compelling case for gender to be mainstreamed in post-conflict reconstructive spaces. This book is among the very best to be written on youth, militarization, and coming of age.”
Cynthia Enloe, author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy
“Vastapuu and Nieminen have compelled me to think afresh about female veterans' post-war lives. Anyone curious about the complex lives of women during and after wars will be gripped by this eye-opening book.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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