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Year: 2010 Type: Article Language: English

This article focuses on the historical trajectories of women's empowerment in Sierra Leone, taking three entry-points as a means of exploring the dynamics of change over the pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict periods: voice and political participation; work and economic participation; and bodily integrity. Looking at pathways of empowerment in pre-conflict Sierra Leone, at experiences of women during the time of conflict over the course of a long and brutal civil war from 1991–2002, and at post-conflict possibilities, the article highlights some of the changes that have taken place in women's lives and the avenues that are opening up in Sierra Leone in a time of peace. It suggests that understanding women's pathways of empowerment in Sierra Leone calls for closer attention to be paid to the dynamics of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, and to the significance of context in shaping constraints and opportunities.