Young Women's Political Participation in Post-War Sierra Leone

IDRC's Democratic Governance, Women's Rights and Gender Equality initiative is supporting a body of comparative research on whether and how democratic processes and institutions are responding to women's rights and gender equality. The projects under this initiative will investigate issues surrounding women's participation in political decision-making, the judiciary and the public sector, and explore ways in which state institutions, political parties, civil society and kin-based social organizations can be influenced to advance women's choices and entitlements as citizens, including through increased representation.

The end of the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2002 was facilitated in many ways by women through women's pro-democracy movements. These movements will continue to be pivotal in the gradual strengthening of democratic governance structures. Irrespective of the immense barriers that they face, women of all ages have been present both formally and informally in the country's political sphere. Post-war elections have seen women running for office at all levels. To date, however, few studies have analyzed the factors that enable or impede young women's entry into politics, their sustained political engagement and their empowerment.

This project will investigate young women's political participation in post-conflict Sierra Leone, focusing on the post-conflict elections of 2007 and 2008, and student politics (tertiary level). The project will also include an important capacity building component both with regard to training the researchers in participatory methods and training young women interested in engaging in the formal political sphere. Young women are thought to be the catalyst for change in women's role and status in a society that is currently entrenched in patriarchy.

Project ID

106207

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Sunday, April 24, 2011

End Date

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Duration

24 months

IDRC Officer

de Boer, John

Total funding

CA$ 122,300

Countries

Sierra Leone, North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Program

Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim

Institution

University of Sierra Leone

Institution Country

Sierra Leone

Institution Website

http://www.tusol.org/home