This study aimed to recover the voices and experiences of market women during the struggle to end the war in Liberia that lasted from 1989 to 2003. By listening to the women who never got the chance to speak, talking about what happened has been like a catharsis of going through all these motions and, in the end, exhaling. The focus is to make sure the voices of market women who also shaped and struggled for sustainable peace and democracy in Liberia are heard. Considering their efforts and reasons why they opted to end the civil unrest, the study examines the context of this unusual story. Of course, ideally, beyond market women being heard and acknowledged, their living conditions should improve. They would like to have a better living, safe housing and maybe a car for their family so they can ride back to the rural area without any hindrance. This study does not only focus on such issues but enables them to tell their stories so that at least the young generation can listen to and learn from the heroism of those women. As a social scientist, I am motivated by finding out more about the past. The study's findings highlight Liberian market women’s engagement in ending the war and in starting the peacebuilding process in Liberia. Despite the limitations of women in a patriarchal, class-divided society like Liberia, they were seen as victims of war and considered change agents interchangeably. Given their roles as women, no one would have believed beforehand that they could have joined to implement such dramatic changes on the scale needed to end the war.

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Hintjens, Helen
Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Kamara, Hawa Angeline. (2021, December 17). The role of women during the peace process in Liberia: perspectives of market women. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from