© 2011

Women and Leadership in West Africa

Mothering the Nation and Humanizing the State

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 1-12
  3. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 21-38
  4. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 53-98
  5. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 99-160
  6. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 161-215
  7. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 217-235
  8. Filomina Chioma Steady
    Pages 237-241
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 243-267

About this book


This book examines women and leadership in West Africa, with a special focus on Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—the Mano River Union countries. These countries have traditions of indigenous female leadership in executive positions in varying degrees, and all three have a tradition of organizations that form important power bases for women.


executive organization organizations state traditions Union women

About the authors

FILOMENA STEADY Professor at Wellesley College, USA, and the author of numerous books and editor of Environmental Justice in the New Millenium (Palgrave 2009).

Bibliographic information


'Filomina Chioma Steady's exposition of female leadership in West Africa blends indigenous and post-colonial themes to account for the emergence of a 'mothering the nation' focus of many women leaders in West Africa. This fascinating book explains how such leadership can 'humanize the state' and promote peace in nations once torn by conflict.' Alice H. Eagly, professor of Psychology, James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Fellow of Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

'The West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone provide the setting of this magnificent recounting of how the postcolonial state can acquire a humanizing face through the leadership efforts of women. This book unmasks the western stereotypes of endemic violence and ethnic strife in African societies and renders them as mere gendered manifestation of political power distribution.' Anastasia Karakasidou, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Wellesley College

'This work is one of a kind. There is no other presentation of oral testimonies by African women from this region of Africa on the concept of leadership.' Johnetta Richards, professor of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University