Feminist Strike: Liberia


  • Pamela Scully Emory University


African feminism, Liberia, resistance, sex strike, sexual violence, war


This paper examines the notion of feminist strike in reference to women peacemakers in Liberia. It argues that women's actions to bring an end to the war both instantiates normative notions of the feminist strike and expands them. Drawing on literature which points to a long history of Liberian women organizing as women with special roles and responsibilities in society, the paper invites us to adopt a broad understanding of the feminist strike. It also suggests that women's mobilization around the concept of a sex strike to force the end of war in the early 2000s, was a powerful and savvy move which criticised sexual violence in wartime, leveraged international attention, and also highlighted, if implicitly, the issue of sexual rights in marriage.


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Author Biography

Pamela Scully, Emory University

Professor Pamela Scully is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at Emory University, USA. An historian by training, she is the author of various books including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio University Press, 2016 and 2022), Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography, co-authored with Clifton Crais (Princeton 2009), and most recently, Writing Transnational History, co-authored with Fiona Paisley (Bloomsbury Academic 2019). She is currently working on a history of women's transnational efforts to create justice for survivors of sexual violence in wartime.


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Reflections and Commentary