Rural women have always been hardworking, serving quite often as the backbone of their families and communities. Contrary to popular assumptions, these rural women have never waited for handouts; instead they have been employing creative means to support themselves, their communities and one another. “Women Who Will Not Wait” depicts some of the hard work and exceptional initiatives of rural women in Segou, Mali.
The Institute of Social Transformation (IST) on 16th March 2012, launched the first book in a series of monographs entitled “Women Who Will Not Wait” which seeks to give visibility to the knowledge of rural women. The monograph is a case study of the leadership practices of rural women in Mali. The report is part of a wider study on Women’s Leadership and experience at the community level in four countries: Bostwana, Mali, Liberia and Uganda. The aim is to contribute to a rural African voice and perspective to the dialogue on women’s ways of knowing. The main objective of the project was to discover what meaning 10 rural women leaders in a district per country attach to the concept of empowerment and leadership, how they learn to be empowering leaders and how they are helping other women to be empowered.
The site of the study was the Segou region of Mali, where rural women have demonstrated resilience through their solidarity and leadership initiatives. The findings reveal that the women have not only contributed to community development but have also amplified their voices and visibility through their participation in local politics and also actively participated in the empowerment of their peers. The study makes several recommendations, some of the key ones are: a call for the education and training of women engaged in rural development, encouraging solidarity and linkages among women’s groups; funding of women’s initiatives as well as enhanced access to credit; and implementing and enforcing policies on women’s empowerment.
About the author
Ms. Oury Traore from Mali is an international consultant on peace and security. She has published several articles and a compendium on African issues and women’s human rights.
Institute for Social Transformation
The Institute for Social Transformation (IST) is an initiative of a group of African women who are committed to a more just and inclusive approach to development in the Eastern part of Africa. IST is the East African home for Training for Transformation. It is based in Uganda and works in seven East African countries; namely Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It promotes the philosophy and practice of Paulo Freire. The institute aims at building a new level of women’s leadership in the six countries of English speaking Eastern Africa; building the skills, insights and abilities of teams from NGO and community organizations to empower local self-reliant transformation and link their efforts to national and global civil society movements; and building confidence and skills of local groups to work with and challenge their governments to ensure macro and micro-economic policies that are to the advantage of the marginalized.
For a copy of the book please contact / visit the Institute for Social Transformation, Plot 390 Sebowa Zone, Kiwatule; P.O.Box 24620, Kampala, Uganda
Or call Phone: +256 41 4665496; Mob: +256 77 2622560; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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