Publication Date

2008

Abstract

The institutionalized denial of women’s rights has a detrimental impact on sustainable development. This situation is global, affecting women’s access to opportunities. Liberia’s is a classic example where national development indicators have women at a lower rank in all areas—health, education, labor and so forth. However, the last decade has seen a significant shift in advocacy among Liberian women on national issues. While women’s demands for peace and political participation served as entry points into decision-making spaces, the dearth of leadership, critical consciousness; and difficulties in crafting a rights-based political agenda has affected the quality of women’s engagement in post-conflict Liberia.

This paper has reviewed the work of two women’s networks. The process was essentially qualitative, analyzing responses within the context of feminism, potential political opportunity of having a female president; and organizations’ capacity. This analysis is necessary since most organizing activities have not focused on grassroots or progressive politics focusing on livelihoods opportunities and advocacy and change making respectively within a human rights framework. The paper posits that unless Liberian women’s organizations hold radical ideological perspectives to support advocacy, theirs may most likely be reactive, male-led responses, void of a level of consciousness that brings effective and sustainable change.

Disciplines

Politics and Social Change | Women's Studies

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