This article explores how female agency and experience manifest in a local Sierra Leonean peacebuilding program known as Fambul Tok. While post-conflict literature, namely transitional justice and peacebuilding, has become more critical in recent years, there is still a tendency to generalize both the ‘local’ and ‘women’. There is, however, much greater scope to delineate how local programs shape and are shaped by women in these settings. While Fambul Tok was, at least theoretically, meant to better align with the needs and priorities of Sierra Leoneans, including women, the empirics suggest that female engagement ultimately results in a wide range of outcomes, which are not necessarily more ‘empowering’, ‘transformative’ or ‘good’ than international programs. Drawing on original empirical data from Fambul Tok, this article highlights the complexity of gendered power relations within these programs and how individual women have multiple, diverse and contested forms of agency and experiences within local settings.
Martin, L. S. (2021). (En)gendering post-conflict agency: Women’s experiences of the ‘local’ in Sierra Leone. Cooperation and Conflict, 56(4), 454–471. https://doi.org/10.1177/00108367211000798