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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
And Girls too: The presence, issues and reintegration of female child soldiers

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The United Nations estimates that over 300,000 children (approximately 40% girls) under the age of 18 are involved in political and social conflicts worldwide (Werner, 2012). This figure includes child soldiers who are defined as boys and girls that are kidnapped and/or manipulated into serving roles as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, or sexual slaves (Shaw, 2003). Although girls maintain various roles in these contentions, representations of child soldiering have almost exclusively been male. Hence the integrated ideological consideration for factors that affect former child soldiers who are girls is limited. Girl child soldiers are targeted in tactics of war, they are more vulnerable to sexual violence and disease than their male counterparts, and they are often forced to carry and bear offspring of their aggressors. Consequently, demobilized female survivors are more likely to suffer from PTSD, depression, and other anxiety disorders (Kohrt et al., 2008). Additionally, they are less likely to be accepted back into their communities due to their disadvantaged status as female, ex-child solider, potential unwed mother and former concubine. These fundamental socio-political and cultural gender norms thus exacerbate the victimization of demobilized girls. This poster presentation will highlight the most marginalized of invisible soldiers. Presenters will review gender differences regarding psychological ramifications and reintegration experiences of child soldiers. Furthermore, the poster presentation will assess the intergenerational effects of girl child soldiering and discuss the implications for counseling psychology. Restoring justice to this population of female survivors begins with acknowledging their existence. Urgency in recognizing the vulnerability and resilience of female child soldiers is a foundational step towards identifying their culturally relevant and policy-related needs. This presentation will fundamentally address the question, "What about girls?" thereby challenging the biased tendency for girls and women to be immensely affected by injustices and the last consulted for restoration.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Redwood