The Potential of Women's Organization for Rural Development in Sierra Leone

Theresa Tenneh Dick, Jianzhong Gao
2013 Evropejskij Issledovatelʹ  
Organizations are among the preferred outlets women use both to voice societal prejudices against them and to showcase their potential for rural/community development. There is an increasing advocacy for gender equality, women's empowerment and the integration of women folks into the socio-economic, political and cultural fabrics of society. Girl-child education and women-based capacity building programs such as micro-finance, entrepreneurship, political activism, etc. have surfaced prominently
more » ... urfaced prominently on these women's empowerment efforts. In this study, a questionnaire-driven survey is conducted in two districts in southern Sierra Leone. The survey covers 36 influential women in 36 town-level communities in the country. The study analyzes the personal and organization characteristics of the women in relation to social perceptions and rural/community development. A large percent of the women surveyed are educated, married and belong to social organizations. In addition to other social/development organizations, women's organizations are also present in each of the surveyed communities. Most of the women organizations are local in nature and operate entirely on funds raised from within the local communities. This display of organizational ability of the surveyed rural women shows a significant perceptional shift towards recognizing women folks as productive counterparts in our societies. This trend also psychologically strengthens the women community to take on tangible responsibilities that were ones meant for men only. The analysis also shows that rural women hold managerial and other administrative positions in the organizations which are strongly oriented towards various forms of rural/community development. This is a significant positive deviation from the traditional perception which has unduly confined the women folks to the backyard for centuries now. This trend not only has the potential of benefiting the millions more women languishing in the developing world, but will also help affected countries to realize ful [...]
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