Female ex-Combatants, Empowerment and Reintegration, Gender Inequalities in Liberia and Nepal.
The UN led program of DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) for female ex combatants was started in March 2005 to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate them into their society again. The specific focus of this program was their female combatants and more generally these militant groups and parties to bring them back to normal life or at least to no active hostilities.
It is common in these groups that they recruit both male and female fighters and even underage children to swell their ranks against opponents. This participation of female combatants in armed conflicts gave them euphoria of power and strength against their gender based role of house maker and domestic women.
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The down side is that as soon as they put down their weapons, demobilize themselves and tries to start a new normal again in their societies, they are underestimated and ignored by their own peoples as women and unimportant beings having no value for the society.
The UN-DDR program is not gender specific. Any combatants regardless of their sex, race, religion or country who want to stop violence and ready to be reintegrated into their society for a normal life, UN-DDR officials facilitate them in doing this.
The author interviews and field research in Liberia and in Nepal with the ex-female combatants and UN-DDR officials depicts how these female combatants neglected and relegated into their previous disallowed position of womanhood of their societies.
The First Liberian civil war (1989-1997) and the Second Liberian civil war (1996-2006) raged the country for nearly 15 years. The mentioned reasons for this civil wars are rampant corruption at all levels. The economic disparities and downtrodden of common people, political and judicial malpractices in the society ignited this inferno in which militant groups also recruited female as fighters.
The Nepali Maoist guerrillas trying to overthrow the monarchy in Nepal and establish a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal did not hesitated to conscript female combatants for this cause. The interesting yet disgusting point is that although on theoretical basis the empowerment and emancipation of these ex female combatants is endorsed by UN and its DDR program, yet the end product is totally different and something unusual and unseen for.
The belief that these unarmed female combatants are now no more dangerous women though having some value for their society but not as much as their male counterparts have!
Murtaza Kaleem an educator, freelance writer, movie-watcher, melodious music listener and an avid reader about International Relations and World Politics with a decade long experience of education and teaching to students of different sociological and economic backgrounds. My social links are;