Gender Based Violence and Access to Justice: the Case of Ganta, Liberia

NUPI Working Paper

Amongst the various civil and criminal issues plaguing post-war Liberia, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (GBV) is one of the most prominent.

A number of historical and contemporary realities are expressed through the issues of GBV in Liberia. Among these are the traditional gender roles that codify the domestic subordination of the women in Liberian society, and the widespread practices of GBV that emerged as a consequence of the ‘nationalisation of local conflict’ that the civil war in such a weak state brought about.
Against this background, the Mapping Gender-based Violence and Access to Justice: Re-traditionalisationin Liberia (GENTRA) project was established to address the knowledge gap between assumptions about how GBV is best attended, and the actual preferences of Liberians. The focus of GENTRA is not on GBV cases as such, but rather on how people chose to address GBV in the plural legal system of Liberia, why people make these choices, how the different legal systems address GBV cases,
and how people perceive the outcomesof these processes.

Through this focus, GENTRA is mapping GBV and access to justice in Liberia, while creating a local database and capacity to help inform policymakers on GBV issues. The GENTRA project is funded by the Norwegian Research
Council and is a collaborative effort between the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia.

In this Working Paper the researchers will document and analyse how people make these choice in and around the town of Ganta in Nimba County.