The Status of women’s leadership in West Africa


In West Africa, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, individually and collectively, offer comparative and contextual insights into the continuities and changing dynamics of women’s leadership status in West Africa. The four countries shed light on the overarching governance and democratisation processes within which women’s demands for leadership are expressed. They also exemplify some of the challenges women face on the thorny quest for leadership, and the prospects for change in women’s leadership development.

Within this context, the core objectives of the research were to examine and document the evolution of women’s leadership in the region; map out women’s leadership in different sectors of West African society; and assess how women have contributed to governance and democratisation.
By tracing the evolution of women’s leadership from the pre-colonial era to the present, the study
captures the changing dynamics of women’s social and political status at different historical junctures.

The publisher of this study, WACSI, is a member of the Change the Game Academy Alliance.

Review by Wilde Ganzen

This is an impressive study, still very relevant to read and with recommendations to act upon, surely not only for the West African context:
“The challenges outlined and the related recommendations call for renewed engagement to elevate
women’s contributions to democratisation, governance and socio-economic development in West
Africa. These actions should build on shared visions and ethical values that shape transformational
leadership. The scope for action should involve:
1) bridging the physical and cognitive distance between urban and rural women,
2) addressing the weaknesses within women’s networks, movements and collaborations,
3) broadening entry into politics for women, to ensure quality representation in political decision making processes,
4) developing creative sources of financing to support women’s aspirations of leadership, and,
5) systematically recording the substantive contributions women in leadership positions make across the sub-region to counter efforts to undermine their achievements.” (page 99)



Author: Marieme Lo, a.o.

Publisher/source/organization: West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)

Place and year of issue: Accra, Ghana 2009

Type: Research report

Country/region: Africa Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal

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