The establishment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on gender equality and the development of the “good governance” agenda have increased international interest in women’s political participation.
Post conflict state-building processes offer an important opportunity to strengthen women’s political participation, developing governance rules, institutions and processes that are inclusive of women, and supporting women to engage in politics. However, in many contexts these opportunities are missed and women’s exclusion is reinforced within newly (re-) constructed political structures.
Sierra Leone presents an interesting case of both the opportunities and challenges in strengthening women’s political participation in contexts of state building. This Working Paper explores the extent to which women in post-conflict Sierra Leone are able to participate in politics, the barriers that they face in doing this, and the outcomes of increased female political participation. It examines the policy framework and international support for women’s participation and makes recommendations on how Sierra Leone’s donors can more effectively support women’s involvement in politics.
The Working Paper is based on field research conducted by FRIDE and Campaign for Good Governance and is part of a broader FRIDE research project on women’s citizenship in the context of state building.