Capacity Building for Women in African Countries: A Case Study of Sierra Leone
Capacity-building has become an attractive and important component of development planning and programming in Sierra Leone’s post-conflict rebuilding. The breakdown of socio-economic structures and infrastructure under conflict has warranted ongoing efforts to restore peace and promote development. Consequently, qualitative and quantitative measures at facilitating the process have become key in the capacity-building process. In the case of women this has further inured from histories of discrimination most of which stems from socio-cultural factors and forces. Ongoing efforts have thus targeted women’s capacity-building as part of efforts to empower them. This work examines capacity building efforts for the women of Sierra Leone. It focuses on how global and national efforts have served women’s empowerment needs socio-economically and politically and argues that socio-cultural factors have been critical in limiting benefits from the efforts. The paper is informed by conceptual analysis of existing literature and official documentation. It finds a trend of movement building, which has been championed by NGOs, whose efforts have been supported by global movements and yet impeded by the gendered socio-cultural contexts in which they operate.
KEY WORDS: Women’s Empowerment, Social Movements, Non-government organizations, gendered socio-cultural system, capacity-building.