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Community radio and women's empowerment in Sierra Leone

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Title: Community radio and women's empowerment in Sierra Leone
Author: Kargobai, Grace
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Capacity Development and Extension
Advisor: Hambley-Odame, Helen
Abstract: This study is about women's involvement in community radio in Sierra Leone and how this medium relates to the empowerment of women. Even though much has been written on the impact of many different aspects of media on women's empowerment, there is no definitive publication that focuses on the connection between community radio and women's empowerment in the context of Sierra Leone. Thus, the study sets out to explore the multi-faceted subject of how community radio has positively, or negatively, impacted women's empowerment in 21st century, post-war Sierra Leone. Therefore, a review of literature is employed in order to build a theoretical framework to inform the analysis of a single case study. In the review, this paper examines themes associated with women's socio-economic and political development, basing the analysis on how community radio played a role in achieving empowerment. Furthermore, methods used in the study included the collection of secondary data and observation/reflection based on the researcher's experiential knowledge as a practitioner for communication in development work in Sierra Leone. Also, the case study of community radio in the context of empowering women in Sierra Leone was purposively selected to consider in relation to the identified themes and theoretical framework. Lastly, the findings from the review of literature and case study suggest that, overall, community radio should give more coverage to women's issues if social, economic and political empowerment are to improve. To this end, the paper discusses some key ways in which women in Sierra Leone have individually and collectively benefited from, shaped, negotiated, and been affected by community radio.
Date: 2017
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