Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

December Green (Committee Chair), Awad Halabi (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The theory that women gain rights during the social upheaval of war has not held universally. While the debate has traditionally centered over women's participation in fighting and entry into the workforce this paper explores the topic from the form of mobilization, motherist or feminist, that women's organizing takes during war through the use of a longitudinal, comparative study of Lebanon and Liberia. Lebanese women's organizations overwhelmingly employed motherist mobilization and tackled practical gender interests that made no attempt to end women's subordination. In contrast, during the Liberian civil war women's groups were more apt to focus on strategic gender interests which acknowledged hierarchical gender relations. This paper addresses whether a motherist approach allows women a culturally acceptable space from which to make demands or if, in fact, the motherist approach limits opportunities to increase women's rights.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.